On occasion there are sequels to movies that no one honestly asked for that is just birthed out of a sort of ether…and against all odds end up being pretty darn entertaining.
While it basically plays like a bunch of music videos strung together, Sing 2 succeeds on its affable gonzo charm much like the first film did.
The ever-optimistic koala, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet …all in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star (Bono) to join them.
If the first installment of the Sing franchise is the equivalent of Saturday Night Fever; then Sing 2 is Staying Alive because while the drive for the characters is the same the set pieces actually get a little more gonzo and even while it’s playing like a slice of Top 40 radio that’s just affable enough to be forgettable.
Writer/Director Garth Jennings reunites us with this motley crew years later and it all picks up on the same beats that you’d anticipate. These films are basically an ad for popular music in general and that’s fine because I honestly don’t think that setting today’s more popular songs to be sung by a bunch of cute animated characters is something that anyone would call bad but it is essentially more product then cinema.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing as these films make for entertaining distractions for all ages but they are hardly what you’d call necessary pieces of cinema. That being said, Jennings does have a skill at driving action and narrative in these things because even at 110 minutes this movie never gets boring. It’s all thanks to a keen sense of pacing and some quality voice performance.
As Buster Moon, Matthew McConaughey just has an unmistakable sense of “hope” in his voice and it fits the character to an absolute tee. Sure he’s a bit of a con artist but he’s filled with such eternal optimism that he’s just a character that is kind of hard to look away from and makes for an excellent protagonist.
Sadly for the rest of the ensemble, this film is so jammed with characters that it’s hard to make any legitimate impact with the audience as they all interact with this gonzo world of high entertainment that they’ve talked their way into, but seeing Bono join the ensemble as reclusive rocker Clay Calloway is kind of fun.
Ultimately, Sing 2 is so busy in its pseudo Las Vegas style city that’s it’s hard to pay attention to anything other than the musical numbers and the infectious optimism of Buster Moon trying to make it in show business. Believe it or not though, this kinetic mishmash of entertainment is actually enough to get the job done. It’s a one note narrative…but sometimes it’s all you need.