About the viewer’s instinct, Christmas horror films are always popular so let me offer up a short but scary episode along those lines. Imagine, if you will, a normal adult-like person who has thought of spending a couple of hours over the holidays to watch a new film and is surfing through the list to check what is streaming at the local theatre.
Cries for the adorable “Licorice Pizza” definitely make that one seem attractive, just like the combination of William Shakespeare, Joel Coen, Denzel Washington, and Frances McDormand does in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” It is interesting to note how “The Matrix Resurrections” revives that franchise for a modern era and if they fancy a bit on the racier side, “Red Rocket” might just be right.
So many films to choose but after minutes of idle supposition, our unfortunate self is shaken back to its harsh reality and ends up uttering the terrifying words that I fear will be said many times this season – “Okay kids, let’s go see “Sing 2.”
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I guess I should admit upfront that I do not remember anything about the original film of 2016, but for a scene in which a cartoon pig voiced by Reese Witherspoon shortly sings Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” This means that maybe I never really saw the actual or I did and, apart from that one part, managed to totally leave my mind out in the meanwhile.
If it happens to be the former then there is nothing in this unoriginal and completely dull piece of product that makes me feel that I have skipped anything. If the latter then I am comforted and optimistic that it also will promptly fade away from my mind.
The Plot of the Film
Having saved his local theatre with a singing competition that brought multiple characters together and every one of them with a dream and an easily identifiable recent Top 40 hit in their heart, aspiring koala theatrical organizer Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) now has a dream even bigger for himself and his group of performers – pigs played by Rosita and Gunter, porcupine rocker played by Ash, shy gorilla played by Ash and even shyer elephant played by Meena.
They have to go to the big city of Red Shore to put on a performance at the luxurious entertainment center run by hotel giant Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale). Despite the audition resulting in a collapse, Buster persuades Jimmy to fund an appropriate sci-fi stage musical named “Out of this World” which is only based on his assurance to tempt legendary rock star Clay Calloway (Bono) out of 15 years of isolation to make an appearance.
Buster, who in reality does not know Clay proceeds with Ash in his attempt to get him to sign on and the others have their own ordeals to face as the production nears further. Rosita, who is set to star in the show is demoted and substituted by Porsha when she is too nervous to pull off a perilous stunt.
Porsha cannot act but can do the stunt and more importantly is the daughter of Jimmy. Johnny gets into a “Whiplash”-style battle of wills with a dominating choreographer and ends up taking lessons from street dancer Nooshy (Letitia Wright). As for Meena, her character has to kiss someone at some point, something that she has never done prior to this and she feels no temptation whatsoever to her arrogant scene partner (Eric André).
Gradually the opening night of the show comes (which suggests “Barbarella” without the clear plot) where everything goes expectedly uncontrollable before reaching the zenith in which Clay makes a successful comeback to the stage. This causes the audience in the film to cheer wildly and the theatre audience to conjecture about the schemes required to prompt Bono to sign on not just to show up but also to contribute a new U2 song to the track.
Reactions about the Storyline and the Musical approach of the Film
In its crux, “Sing 2” is slightly more than a mixture between a lesser Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland vehicle and one of the year-end Spotify wraps that people post online to show others that they have listened to Billie Eilish quite many times over the course of the year. Despite a lot of subplots to be had, there is a unique little story that drives the project, and writer/director Garth Jennings took enough care to ensure such minute details.
The humor is slightly more than clamorous slapstick humor, the stabs at pathos are almost resentingly orchestrated, and by building a story in which aesthetic success is compared with attractive presentation it peculiarly weakens its own message about the sole strength of music at every turn.
Rather, Jennings is only into cramming as many songs into the mix as possibleṣ with no regard about deciding the selection of tunes other than that they are recognized. The opening part, for instance, takes the wild enthusiasm of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and reduces it to meaningless cartoon entertainment and that’s the start of many musical crimes committed here.
The only one that somewhat works is Halsey’s “Could Have Been Me” by The Struts. However, as rock and vigorous music is Halsey’s day job, it isn’t particularly surprising.
Viewer Response Versus Actual Opinion
Because it doesn’t have any carnal scenes, aggression, or cuss words, and because it is filled with lovely human-like animals, many parents will definitely take their kids to watch “Sing 2” as theoretically there’s nothing negative in it. In fact, I would assert that the sheer laxity on the display of this soulless exercise in extending the franchise is far more detrimental.
The best family movies catch the imaginations of younger watchers and enlighten them on the quality of storytelling in methods that impact them for their entire lives, perhaps inspiring them to create their own stories too. By comparison, “Sing 2” has no other reason than to waste a couple of hours. If “Sing 2” teaches them anything, it is to think for a future in arranging music licensing for films – hopefully for the ones better than this one.