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Review: 'Sing 2'

Edited as of Fri 7 Jan 2022 - 04:37
Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (11 votes)

sing2.jpgSing 2 opens with the cast and crew of Moon’s Theater putting on a pop-musical stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Alice is played by the elephant Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), the Mad Hatter is played by the gorilla Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), and the Cheshire Cat is played by a pig named Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), which seems like a bit of miscasting to me. This performance is particularly important, because in the audience is a talent scout, a saluki dog named Suki (voiced by Chelsea Peretti) who could get them an audition to perform at even bigger venues.

Anyway, she leaves about halfway through the first act.

The theater’s owner and director, the koala Mr. Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), tries to stop her, asking her what she thought of the show. She replies that it’s fine, really good local children’s theater production, but just not what they’re looking for. When Moon implores her to tell him, really honestly, what she thinks, Suki sighs and asks him if he really wants to know.

Because the honest truth, she says, is they’re just not good enough.

The bad reaction from the talent scout sets the plot in motion, as Moon decides that his troupe is good enough, so they all travel to the talking animal world’s equivalent of Las Vegas and finagle an audition with Suki’s boss, the wolf Mr. Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale). They’re rejected, once again, until the pig Gunther (voiced by Nick Kroll) mentions an idea he had for a sort of rock space opera featuring Clay Calloway, a rock star lion who no longer performs (voiced by U2’s Bono). Despite the fact that the pig was basically just spitballing, Moon convinces Crystal this is totally a real thing, and they do in fact have Calloway ready to make a return to performing.

The movie features quite a few characters, but they somehow all get something to do. Gunther and Miss Crawley (Moon's lizard assistant voiced by director Garth Jennings) are mostly just comic relief, but they still have functions within the production. Johnny struggles with learning his dance battle choreography, wallflower Meena struggles with the idea of performing a stage kiss, rocker Ash the porcupine (voiced by Scarlett Johanssen) becomes most in charge of convincing Calloway to leave his retirement, and Rosita finds herself unable to perform a role that requires a jump from great heights. That’s the returning cast from the first movie, with the exception of a mouse played by Seth MacFarlane, who was last seen in the first movie being unaware of a bear sneaking up on him with murderous intent, so I’m just assuming he died horribly offscreen between movies.
porsha.png
The new characters are a breakdancing street busker lynx named Nooshy (voiced by Letitia Wright) who Johnny recruits to better teach him how to dance, and Crystal’s spoiled, manipulative daughter Porsha (voiced by Halsey), who takes advantage of Rosita’s vertigo to take her role. Porsha’s actually a triple threat, being able to sing, dance and possess a character design that easily makes her the franchise’s most popular character on e621. Not the traditional triple threat, however, as it turns out she can’t act. Unfortunately, being daddy’s little girl, firing her or even moving her to a more appropriate role is fraught with danger.

And this is literal danger, as Crystal’s threat to throw Moon off a high balcony if things go bad turns out to be not a metaphor at all. The stakes are a bit high for what is otherwise mostly just an excuse to sing some pop songs. Porsche’s arc is also a bit sloppy. It seems to be her getting out from under the thumb of her cruel father was the idea, but she was never really under it to begin with. Her decision to join the troupe at the end is played as sticking it to her dad, but in reality, it’s a character who does what she wants in spite of other people’s feelings on the matter doing what she wants in spite of another person’s feelings on the matter. That character design, though.

Ultimately, both the movie and the show within a show they put on are just excuses to sing pop songs. Gunther’s play is just about devoid of plot or character, and relies entirely on big, expensive set pieces and a surprise celebrity guest appearance for its entertainment value. In fact, the whole thing is more than a little tacky. This is Moon and company’s dream? Not make it big in their world’s equivalent of Broadway or even Hollywood, but Las Vegas? And Moon is literally willing to risk his life for this?

It feels like there’s an unfortunate metaphor here somewhere.

But, it all comes down to timing, doesn’t it? I went on at length in my review of the original Sing that a celebration of bubblegum pop didn’t feel right a half decade ago. Both movies are perfectly adequate kid’s animated movies, and that’s okay. I mean, the plot of the movie wouldn’t exist if Moon thought this way, but there’s something to be said for knowing what you’re good at and being happy at being that. Everybody in the audiences, real and imaginary, seemed to be having a good time, so what are we all complaining about? But the movie insists that it can and should go to the next level.

If you want my honest opinion on that, however, Sing 2 still just isn’t good enough.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I saw this a couple days ago and basically disagree with every one of your criticisms, especially the one about the 'show within the show' just being an excuse. That part of the film was amazingly written and animated. Somebody who'd had a lot of experience with real stage shows had a major hand in that. Most of what they did could literally be done for real live. Certainly it's plot was no more silly than some RL shows that have done very well (Avenue Q, Starlight Express, and Cats come to mind). I found the movie to be fun, uplifting, and with far more character development than the first film had. It also had more and arguably better music. The first film had to happen for this one to. As much as I liked the first one, the sequel was by far the better film. The one warning I can give is this is a true sequel. They spend zero screen time rehashing anything from the first film and you'd probably have been a little lost at the start not knowing any of the returning characters' back stories if you didn't see the original first (worth the time to watch though). I guess the bottom line is if you liked the first film, you'll probably love this one. If you haven't seen the first film, maybe watch that and decide then knowing this is much better.

Your rating: None

CooperTom also tweeted that he was a fan of it as well. So there does seem to be an audience that would find it enjoyable in the fandom. Haven't seen it myself.

I did see the first one, but I can't remember too many plot details, I do remember the character backgrounds so hopefully that would be enough to get through the film.

Your rating: None

It would be. Just knowing the basic premise of the first one and personalities of the returning characters is enough. I suspect somebody who hadn't seen the first one would be ok, they just wouldn't understand some of the callbacks to the first one. You'll like it I think.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Movie criticism is best from people with talent in making art themselves, whether it be stage shows or writing. Flayrah should get someone better for this.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

I think this comment is ironic saying that opinions and critique should only come from those that understand what goes on in the background when the comment itself infers that Flayrah 'gets' people as if there is some kind of payroll and that this isn't a volunteer organization that takes review pieces from folks who bother to take the time to write them up.

Your rating: None

Well, clearly opinions vary. I guess they should've thought more about whether it'd play in Peoria (presumably Peoria, Oklahoma in this case, also named after the long-suffering Peoria people)

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a red fox

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