If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie. “Sing 2” is one of THOSE films. This bright, colorful, animated spectacle reminds me of the kid in my 6th grade class who always tried so desperately to be liked by all of his mates, doing everything he thought he needed to in order to be part of the gang, but never taking the time to simply be himself. This sequel to the 2016 film from Illumination Studios aims to be a crowd-pleaser by being everything to everybody, but sometimes just letting your true colors shine is all that you really need.
Making a part two is unnecessary story-wise, as the sparse plot shows. Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) has assembled an all-star cast of performers who are getting set to launch a stage show, but nobody in the industry will give them a chance. After a bit of a misunderstanding, the group of musicians must track down the world’s most reclusive rock star (voice of U2’s Bono) to join them if they want a shot at performing in front of an audience. It won’t be easy, but they have the power of friendship behind them.
While the screenplay is weak, the film is optimistic and cheerful. There are some serious themes of depression that are briefly touched on, but the overall platitude of “dream big dreams” is the primary focus. To mask the so-so story, the majority of the movie is comprised of pop song after pop song, accompanied by splashy visuals. Director Garth Jennings includes well-known music parents will love, so mom and dad can feel part of the action when their “favorite” Taylor Swift song starts to play. It feels constant and relentless, making this a great choice for kids with short attention spans.
The quality animation is a joy, but the film’s biggest stumbling block is that the characters are neither lovable or memorable. I remember very little about the first “Sing,” and zero knowledge about this movie’s predecessor is necessary. The voice talent is tolerable at best, with the comic relief coming from Nick Kroll, Eric André, and Scarlett Johansson. There’s quite a bit of humor, if sometimes clunky and uninspired.
By design, this film exists to make audiences happy with its candy-colored visuals and toe-tapping soundtrack. That shouldn’t hide the fact that “Sing 2” is a very lazy animated feature. You could take a nap until the end and still see the best part of the movie.