Sing 2 (2021) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4): They’re back with a bigger task…

Animation film “Sing 2”, which is incidentally released as “Sing 2gether” in South Korean theaters, is as effective as its predecessor, and that is all I could say in this review. Just like “Sing” (2016), the film is simply all about musical performances to be embraced by its target audiences, and you may forgive its weak narrative and broad characterization more than me, if you are just fine with these fairly enjoyable musical moments in the film.

The story begins not long after where the story of the previous film ends. Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), a koala who is the owner of the New Moon Theater, and those various animal musicians working with him have had a fairly good success in their local theater since their bumpy adventure in “Sing”, but, as your typical ambitious showman, Moon has wanted more success for him and his musicians. As shown from the opening sequence, he is eager to impress a talent scout from some bigger town who may give a big opportunity for him and his musicians, but that talent scout in question does not seem to be that impressed by their latest show, and Moon is certainly daunted by this.

However, of course, Moon soon becomes more determined to get what he wants for himself and his musicians, and he subsequently persuades them to join his journey to that bigger city, which looks as big and flashy as Las Vegas in many aspects as being full of many prominent stage shows to dazzle numerous audiences. At the center of the city, there is a big and powerful entertainment business company run by an arctic wolf dude named Jimmy Crystal (voiced by Bobby Cannavale), and Moon and his musicians must find a way to sneak into Crystal’s office at the top of the high-rise company building.

Anyway, Moon and his musicians eventually succeed in approaching to Crystal when Crystal happens to be looking for any possible fresh chance to draw more audiences out there, but, not so surprisingly, there is a big catch. While Crystal allows Moon to have the full control over whatever Moon is planning to present during the upcoming show, he insists that Moon should bring Clay Calloway (voiced by Bono), a legendary rock star lion who has been leading a reclusive life since a tragic personal incident which occurred many years ago. Due to his lack of knowledge on Calloway, Moon is initially confident that he can accomplish this mission, but, of course, Calloway turns out to be someone who cannot be easily approached or persuaded at all.

Meanwhile, Moon and his musicians keep focusing on what they can do right now, though that also turns out to be not as easy as expected. Although Moon manages to concoct the main concept of the show in the last minute, his musicians are not so sure about whether they can handle many challenging aspects of their new show. While Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), a teenage gorilla who can sing as well as we can expect from the star of “Rocketman” (2019), must learn some complex dance moves, Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a pig who has been enjoying her entertainment career along with a dancer named Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll), must overcome her fear of height for a certain crucial action in her part, and Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly) must know more about love before performing a romantic song well along with some popular but self-absorbed singer.

And things become more complicated when Porsha (voiced by Halsey), Crystal’s spoiled daughter, later enters the picture. Although she is not terrible at all in case of singing and dancing at least, Buster has no choice but to have Porsha cast as the lead performer of the show just because he must make Crystal pleased as much as possible, and that leads to more doubt among Buster and his musicians.

All these and other plotlines in the screenplay by director/writer Garth Jennings, who also provided the voice performance for one of the supporting characters in the film as before, eventually culminates to the climactic part which is packed with lots of songs and dances in a very predictable fashion. Sure, Buster and his musicians certainly come to rise to the occasion despite Crystal’s bullying tactics, and it is not much of a spoiler to tell you that Calloway is persuaded to end his hiatus at last and then will come to realize that he is still good enough despite all those many years of his absence. While his character’s dramatic arc is not exactly effective, Bono does not disappoint us at all during his character’s eventual big moment later in the story, and that certainly makes his casting one of a few inspired things in the film.

In case of the other main cast members, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlet Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll, and Tori Kelly simply fill their familiar roles as they did before, but they still have some fun with their respective roles as before. Bobby Cannavale, Eric André, Letitia Wright, Halsey, and Pharrell Williams are mostly okay in their supporting parts, and I was a bit surprised to learn later that a certain comic supporting character in the story is performed by a certain well-known Oscar-winning director.

On the whole, “Sing 2” has some enjoyable parts, but I also could help but notice its many shortcomings popping here and there, so I am still hesitating to recommend to some degree. Although this is not a bad animation film at all thanks to all those nice musical moments in the film, it looks a rather passable and colorless product compared to several notable animation films of 2021 such as “Flee” (2021), “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (2021), “Luca” (2021), “Encanto” (2021), and “Raya and the Last Dragon” (2021), and I especially recommend you to watch “Flee” right now, which is a seemingly plain but undeniably extraordinary work in my humble opinion. Believe me, this exceptional animation film will haunt your mind a lot longer than “Sing 2”, and you will thank me for my inconsequential recommendation.

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