With an all-star cast and several hit songs, SING is exactly what you’d expect from an average musical — shining in musical numbers, lacking in an original story.
The story revolves around Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) — an optimistic, sometimes annoying Koala who fell in love with musical theater at a young age — and his theater, which is not doing as hot as it once did back in its glory days when young Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Hudson) was still performing.
However, Moon comes up with a surefire plan to revive his theater — a singing competition (basically American Idol with animals).
Contestants pour in for auditions in hopes to get their hands on some of the prize money, but he narrows it down to the lucky few: Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) — the housewife pig who is currently just using her voice for lullabies to her many piglets, Mike (Seth McFarlane) — a jazzy mouse who’s down on his luck, Ash (Scarlett Johansson) — the husky-voiced, better half of a hard rock, porcupine duo, Gunter (Nick Kroll) — Rosita’s entertaining, disco-loving partner and Johnny (Taron Egerton) a young, misunderstood gorilla with a natural talent for crooning. Meena (Tori Kelly), a shy elephant with some powerful vocals, also eventually makes her way into the production.
This summer, Illumination proved its worth outside of the Despicable Me universe with the highly enjoyable, The Secret Life of Pets. Noting the all-star cast and hit songs in SING’s amusing trailer and recalling the entertaining action from Secret Life, I likely went in with too high of expectations. SING doesn’t quite reach its potential and falls short of Illumination’s summer blockbuster. Its clear avoidance of being “preachy” left it without much substance or message at all, other than the predictable “never give up.”
However, it shines in its musical numbers, which thankfully populate most of the film. Its ending is definitely the best moment of the entire film, as it allows the cast to showcase their vocal talent, with each musical number better than the last. The British Egerton and rising-star Kelly are particularly good, with Johansson also showing off an impressive strong and husky voice.
Overall, the film will for sure capture the hearts of young children. SING is a fairly enjoyable way to spend your time, yet, while it certainly tried to hit all the right notes, it still falls a little flat, seemingly because it tried just a little too hard with its big name actors and flashy production.
SING’s vocalists are dynamite; the story is predictable. Nevertheless, it’s nice and refreshing to be able to go to the movie theater and enjoy a simple musical, one worth seeing just for the music.
Photo courtesy of Illumination Entertainment