Sing 2 (2020)

Garth Jennings,
Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show.
  • 7.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Connor Funk, Director:
  • Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri, Producer:


9 / 10

Broke My Movie Slump

The last three movies I saw in theater were real dogs. I won't say what they were, but the last one rhymes with "fake tricks." I was in a movie slump, which made me a little apprehensive about "Sing 2." Turns out there was no need to be apprehensive at all, this movie was amazing.

"Sing 2" had all the old gang minus the mouse. The movie began with a Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) production with a big time talent scout from Redshore City in the audience. Redshore City is like a suped up Las Vegas. Moon's updated musical version of "Alice in Wonderland" wasn't enough to impress the scout, but Moon would not be denied. In his classic hustling fashion he got his theater troupe on the Redshore City stage to secure a full musical, but with one big condition: he'd need Clay Calloway (Bono) in his production. With a new act, a new member, a missing link, and his life on the line, Moon would need a miracle to make it all happen.

I don't know why, but I liked "Sing 2" even more than "Sing." The musical numbers, again, were fantastic and the plot was wonderful. All of the characters are easy to like and the music works with the flow of the movie as well as the feel of the movie. Even though the plot is very similar to part one, enough elements were different to make it fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.

6 / 10

yellow brick road

Greetings again from the darkness. When an animated movie for kids banks over $600 million at the box office, we wouldn't expect 5 years to pass before the sequel appears. But that's exactly what has occurred with writer-director Garth Jennings' follow-up to his hugely popular 2016 original featuring a troupe of anthropomorphic animals singing and dancing. This franchise doesn't belong to Pixar or Disney, but rather Illumination, the studio behind the DESPICABLE ME films.

As one would expect, the sequel includes a return of the favorite characters (and voices), including koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), mama pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), rockin' porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), and sensitive gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton). The stakes are higher for our warbling friends this time. The film opens with our furry friends performing an "Alice in Wonderland" production that features the Prince song, "Let's Go Crazy". Additionally, our retinas are scorched with every color known to mankind, reminding us of the land Oz ... fitting because song #2 is Elton John's "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road". The latter works because Buster has just been informed by talent scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti) that his team is 'cute', but "not good enough". See, Buster's dream is to introduce the act on a global scale.

Most of the rest of the movie involves: Buster dodging threats from evil tycoon Mr. Crystal (Bobby Cannavale). Crystal is a wolf (of course) and is a powerful presence in a Las Vegas-style city built for entertainment. The other key element here is Buster's promise to Crystal to deliver Clay Callaway (U2's Bono) to the new production. Callaway, a lion, has been a reclusive rock star ever since a personal tragedy robbed him of his desire to participate in society. The bonding between Ash and Callaway is probably the best part of the story, and this occurs after Ash (Ms. Johansson) makes her point about equal pay (imitating real life) just after jamming to a Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs' song.

In a move that makes little sense, Mr. Jennings has crafted a more complex story than what we saw in the first movie. This one will be difficult for many kids to follow, and involves the power and ego of Crystal, as well as nepotism with his entitled daughter (voiced beautifully by Halsey). But why complicate something that doesn't need to be more complicated? Most kids just want to watch the animals on stage, singing and dancing and doing goofy things. The sci-fi stage production "Out of this World" finds Meena teamed with a preening partner voiced by Eric Andre, while she dreams of connecting with the ice cream elephant voiced by Pharell Williams. Ash and Callaway are at the climax of the show with a version of Bono's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". Also included are many familiar tunes by such artists as Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish, and The Weeknd. Many life lessons are served up here, including the importance of following your dream, but at one hour and fifty-two minutes, it's easily 20 to 25 minutes longer than most kids will likely sit. While we can admire Mr. Jennings' desire to deliver a sequel with value, we do question the wisdom in revising the template.

Opens in theaters on December 22, 2021.

8 / 10

Fun for the family

If you haven't seen Sing (the first movie), I recommend seeing it before you watch this one. There is a lot of carry over jokes and information you need to see first.

Other than this, you should just enjoy the movie. The entire family did and the kids were laughing. There are plenty of singing, dancing, and hit songs. The script is easy to follow, the characters are funny and the movie isn't slogged down with any politics, sex or drugs. It's just fun entertainment, the way a movie should be made.

8 / 10


The sequel to the 2016 original is more of the traditional 'Little Rascals/let's put on a show' as our intrepid promoter, voiced by Matthew McConaughey's Buster Moon, has hopes of taking his mildly successful local show to the big leagues; a Las Vegas like residency but after the scout is not overly impressed by their little show, Moon decides to gather the troops anyway to hopefully crash an audition. Getting his foot in the door, Moon bluffs his way to the show's backer, voiced by Bobby Cannavale, he can produce a reclusive singer, voiced by Bono, out of hiding to participate in their new production; a sci-fi travelogue created by Gunther, Nick Kroll but there is one caveat, Cannavale wants his daughter, singer Halsey, in the show so off the movie goes as the various cast members have their tasks to do interspersed w/warbling of recent hits keeping the well rendered visuals a delight & even though it's not to the story caliber of say Pixar films, they nonetheless still entertain a whole bunch.

8 / 10

Time 2 Sing


The Animation:DreamWorks may not break the ground that Disney does with the CGI work they do, but it still does impress this reviewer with how gorgeous they make the world of Sing. The popping colors of various set pieces are full of that hopeful energy, perfect for an entertaining movie and keeping your eyes in wonder at the fun to be had. Yet, at the same time, there is a "darker" side to things, which are a work of beauty on its own to help paint the mood and add on to the work of the voice actors. As for movement, it is smooth, great transitions, and filled with that same pizazz the first installment did in the dance and singing moments, alongside the natural movements of the characters. The whole design of the world is a great blend of human merging with animal, and the copying of our architecture and it just makes for a wonderful setting.

The Voice Acting:Sing 2 has acquired quite a cast to bring the group to life, which is always worrisome when it comes to using them to their complete potential. Sing 2 fortunately does an okay job with that and the actors get props for their performances once more. Buster Moon, our loveable koala, has the same hopeful tone McConaughey infused in the last film, adding a bit more stubbornness and focus now that he has been established. Witherspoon feels like a natural again in her role, and nails the performance of the mother and nervous star attempting to go the next level, adding care, charisma, and of course the acting chops she has shown in movies like Home Again. Johansson is the one with a little more diversity than anyone as Ash, who goes a little more into both sides of the spectrum from the Rockstar jamming youth, to an old spirit wise animal, who manages to intelligently keep things together. Yet the winners for my favorite performances are Nick Kroll, Bobby Cannavale, and Garth Jennings. Kroll as Gunter is sensational, he's the energy and ridiculous, peppy pig, with the lines that are the most memorable and they have taken the foundation and elevated him further to be my particularly favorite character. Cannavale plays the wolf, and much like other films where he adds the villain tone, he injects the tone of the antagonist quite well without diving too far down the rabbit hole of evil. He was arrogant and an egomaniac, typical of a businessman with everything, and it fit into the world well, allowing him to bare his teeth more as the movie progressed. I think he nailed the character to the best degree and I certainly give him props for making a good kids' movie villain. As for Jennings, the director as the voice of the female chameleon continues to be another awesome performance in mannerisms, comedy, and heart given the scenes that Ms. Crawly takes on in this film.

The Heart:Sing took a concept of American Idol with animals, and managed to go deeper into the soul and heart of humans to inspire as it approached the ending. In Sing 2, the story takes another deeper step down that road and manages to do a glorious job of getting you teary eyed/smiling at the wonder to be hold. There are a lot of subplots in this story, using a wide variety of characters as they are forced to balance, analyze, and address the problems they are facing. For this reviewer, they managed to tug some heart strings very well, and once again inspire to do better and open my mind to new possibilities. Sing 2 is certain to hit a lot of the target audience the same way, and depending on the age and makeup of your kid, might just dig deep into them as well and get them to be excited about things to come. It's the quality core component of the family aspect of this film, and I don't think many will be disappointed by the direction they took.

The Performances/Music:Let's face it, with a title like Sing as your franchise, you know a heavy element is the music that has been purchased/created for this film. Once again Illumination Studios has done a great job of acquiring a diversity of songs to sing in their list, and have integrated both original and covers of the song to help get the earworm going. Unlike several other franchises though, they manage to maximize most of their songs into the plot and give more purpose and meaning to their inclusion then simply just shoving them in the movie. Jennings and his music team really hit their A game for me, finding the right placements of songs in the non-performance moments to help elevate the emotion to new levels, and giving us a great cover to boot. Yet, it's the performance moments that really pizazz and become the hybrid of movie and stage show that was always promised in the original movie. Sing 2 gives us amazing numbers to the unorthodox Sci-Fi Stage show, and is really the crown jewel that climactically finishes this heartwarming tale. I loved the ending so much for many reasons and feel that this will be a lot of audience members' favorite moments when they hit this film. This part is definitely worthy of theater level viewing, and if you got the guts for 3-D, I think it helped to be honest.

DISLIKES:The Plot:It's a kids' film and I get things have to be a bit lighter to not bore the hyper energy kiddos that will be the primary target. However, Sing, Madagascar, and Despicable Me have all proven that you can layer a plot and still be good. Sing 2 started to do this, but I don't think it reached the full potential that it was going for. Outside of predictability, the movie seems sort of lost in which aspects to work through, giving a timetable that makes for rushed moments and impasses that are hurdles a bit too quickly. That level of integration in the first film is only a sliver, perhaps due to focus on the ending, or perhaps due to pandemic cutting into time and budget. Either way, the plot is complete, but without the solid ending may have suffered more given the integration issues.

The Character Usage/Growth:Sing 2 already had a heavy cast to begin with, but they added more to the mix to try for expansion and it was decent and fun. However, like the plot, the character growth, focus, and abilities are a bit blander than I had hoped given the advertising for this movie. It's a fast paced juggle, going from subplot to subplot in rapid manner and never giving us the time, focus, and energy to really see them work past the fears and limitations plaguing them. Many of the moments are to one scene, or a quick montage that offers little backstory, bonding, and trust that we saw in that first film. Things are again too sewn together in that Playhouse Disney sort of way, and for older audience members like me seeing those moments helps add spectacle to the film. Again, it's not the worst suspense of disbelief, but something more was needed to help spread and balance the stories and songs that I was looking for.

The Advertising:This is one of those major cases where commercials went way too far to give you the movie, as they gave you almost the entire movie. Sing 2's commercials showed way too much, and offered little surprise or twists that this movie could have used super well. I'm guessing that from what I've seen in trailers, you have about 60-65% of the movie already for viewing, with only the stage show offering any incentive to still see it. Sing 2's advertisement aggressiveness may have ruined more of the film than any other aspect, just because I had pieced the entire thing together from the bits and pieces they gave in their 2-3 minute ads for about 10 ads. That is indeed the biggest weakness for me in this film, so if you have avoided the commercials... good job and this will be a moot point.

The VERDICT:Sing 2 is a great sequel in terms of entertainment, teaching, design, and spectacle when it comes to animated movies. It has heart, it has energy, and it really builds off the base of the first movie in the goal to give something new, while respecting the traditions. The voice acting is fun, with the new voices finding a welcome home in the big animal city, while the new world is clever in its portrayal of our world. It really is the music and performances that are the selling point though, and for this reviewer the backbone of why you should hit the theater to check this film out. Limitation wise though, I don't think the movie did quite the best work when it came to character and time management, taking a fast track approach and really sidestepping the true potential of the soulful moments the first film did so well. The movie may have been too hopeful in its inclusion of voices and characters and needed another half an hour to reach the same level of quality the first one did. However, the worst part is the aggressive advertisements that have given much of the movie away and if you can avoid this, well then you are in good shape and should be god, but otherwise you know most of the movie from watching those alone. My scores for Sing 2 are:

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 8.0Movie Overall: 7.0.