Sing movie review: Maybe the McConaissance doesn’t extend to animated musicals
Director: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon
Walking into an animated movie made by Universal, there are a few things to expect. First, expect bright, glossy animation that only gets more impressive and expressive with every movie. Second, expect a thrilling soundtrack mixed with the biggest pop anthems of the decade. And lastly, don’t expect a good story.
Follow the list, don’t raise your hopes too much and leave the theatre satisfied. Lucky for me, I did not have to make too many changes to the rough draft of this review I had in mind before even watching the movie. Lucky for me, Sing is Universal’s most obedient child.
The animated musical with 85 songs is set in an anthropomorphic world where a koala (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) tries to save his theatre from going into the hands of the bank by starting a singing competition. The contestants on his show include an overworked, pig-mom of 25 (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a young gorilla (voiced by Taron Egerton) who doesn’t want to join his dad’s gang of thugs, a street smart rat (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) with all associated bad habits, a hedgehog with boyfriend troubles (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), some llamas here and some bunnies there.
All these and more animals line up for the audition but the trouble is that the koala has no prize money to give out. It’s not rocket science to figure out how the film ends. Sing is as generic and formulaic an animated movie as they come. It generates no emotions of either loathing or even boredom as you sit through it for an hour-and-a-half. It is just hanging somewhere between two tropes of mediocrity and awfulness.
The characters, although voiced by Academy Awards winners, are nothing we have never seen before: An ambitious guy who accepts the love of those around him at the end (Gru, Megamind) or a city-smart one who appreciates the goodness of being part of a team (Nick Wilde, Flynn Rider). The examples are several. We could have forgiven these characters if they were better versions of the ones we mentioned but they are not.
The theme of a talent hunt competition is not exactly innovative after 16 years into the new millennium (even one of the sheep in the movie said so). But with all its 85 songs and the slick dance moves of some pigs, Sing does manage to provide a few moments of amusement (notice how it is the least offensive word I could come up with). The last scene, for example, is 15 minutes of non-stop dancing and singing that was being built up through the entire length of the movie. The climax doesn’t let you down and if you do end up watching the movie, pay attention to the dubstep mix of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Be sure to share the download link if you find any.
Sing is formulaic, amusing at places but will be forgotten as soon as you step out. And unless you are writing a review, I don’t see why you should remember it anyway.
My job is done. And so, here goes Sing out of my head. Shift+Del.
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