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Review: Sing 2 – “Filled with fun songs and colourful animation”

When the first Sing movie came out in 2016 it was easy to dismiss it as another animated singing-animal film. It is with those low expectations I saw it and was found to be wrong in all the right ways. Director and writer Garth Jennings had managed to bring warmth and passion to the film, where beneath the songs was a moving story that adults could enjoy, possibly more than the children. So with now high expectations, I was relieved to see that Garth Jennings returned for Sing 2, having hit his stride with these characters, songs and the story.

The film wastes no time with the plot and assumes you had seen the first film. The returning cast is led by Matthew McConaughey as the cheerful Koala Buster Moon, along with Taron Egerton as the Burly teen Gorilla Johnny, Scarlett Johansson as Porcupine Ash and Reese Witherspoon as the mommy-pig Rosita. Additions to the cast include Halsey, Pharrell Williams and Bono, adding legitimacy to the film’s musical credentials. The cast are wonderful and owes a lot to Illumination Studios who have animated these films, bring these characters to life.

The film follows Buster and the gang to Redshore City (essentially Las Vegas) to see if they can put on a bigger show in a bigger city. There’s a fairly meta scene at the start where Buster laments the reviews of their first shows as “family-friendly” and his desire to go bigger. Sing 2 certainly does go bigger – theatrically and technically speaking. In the final acts you get the impression Garth Jennings wants to do more than just wow the audience. Children in my screening seemed to enjoy the film regardless, while adults will like the spectacle and the story.

To get their big break on stage, Buster promises to have his show feature Cab Calloway (voiced by Bono) – a promise he can’t keep. From there the film predictably has him try to convince Cab to feature, while trying to convince everyone he has everything under control. From there the rest of the cast have their own battles to face, whether on stage or off, for example Johnny has to learn how to dance, while Rosita loses her lead role when the producers start meddling with the show – the commentary on studio interference had an uncanny resemblance to in the Matrix Resurrections which I didn’t expect. Throughout the film, covers of popular songs pepper the movie from Ariana Grande to System of a Down (and U2 of course), becoming an easy method to convey multiple emotions at once and move the story along quickly. The only downside being if you’re not a fan of some of the songs.

Sing 2 relies on you seeing the first film to make sense of the characters, as this film expands on their stories which are filled with fun songs and colourful animation. At just under 2 hours it’s a lot of fun and energy squeezed into a short time that will surely entertain. While it doesn’t hit some of the highs of the first film there’s still a charm and optimism in the animals who want to put on a good show. If Sing was proving to themselves they had what it takes, then Sing 2 is proving it to everyone else.

Sing 2 hits UK cinemas on 28th January 2022.

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