Movie Review: “Sing”
Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is a koala that has had a passion for stage performances and musicals since he was young. Today he runs the theater that sparked his passion when he was a child, but unfortunately people are not coming to his shows. In order to keep the theater, Buster Moon needs a successful show, and more importantly he needs a big hit performer. Thus, he decides to put on a singing competition where anyone can enter. Contestants include a pig named Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), a mouse named Mike (Seth MacFarlane), a porcupine named Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a gorilla named Johnny (Taron Egerton), an elephant named Meena (Tori Kelly) and a pig named Gunter (Nick Kroll). There are a lot of great performers in this competition, but only one of them can come out of this as the winner.
The Pros & Cons
The Competition (+10pts)
The Catastrophe (-4pts)
The Typo (-2pts)
Pro: The Competition (+10pts)
One of my favorite parts of this movie was the premise. The competition element of Sing was entertaining to watch because I really could not tell who was going to win. They each got plenty of character development, which made it really hard to tell who was going to end up winning it all. There were probably a few too many developed characters in this story, and I will get into the side effects of that later, but one thing this did was it kept me guessing regarding who I thought would win the whole thing.
Another reason why I liked this concept is that it served as a natural way to throw in as many songs as possible, rather than an animated movie in which the characters just randomly start singing. I liked seeing the development of the competition, seeing the characters working on their performances, and seeing them finally performing their final product. Going along with each character on their development process made it hard to pick a favorite, and made each final performance feel important. It was a fun ride to go on, and the final concert was entertaining.
Con: Long (-10pts)
This movie felt about forty minutes too long and I am not quite sure why they made it that way. There were way too many full storylines to the point where it felt like I saw three or four kid’s movies in one. I believe the run-time for Sing was just under two hours, I saw some people sleeping (one in my group) and I saw a lot of restless kids. The movie is not bad, but it is unnecessarily long for a movie aimed at kids. Long, drawn out storylines about multiple characters dealing with adult issues, just did not seem to connect with kids in the audience. They just wanted to watch animals sing.
The movie kept cutting from one character to another. In the beginning this was a little jarring, but I did get used to it. That being said, I think setting up each of these characters is fine, but we did not have to see all of the characters get full storylines that focused on adult concepts. Now I do not mean the material is not suitable for children, but the storylines focus on things that only kids will not fully appreciate or understand. Unfortunately, the movie was for kids. The result was a movie that felt unnecessarily drawn out, to the point where both adults and kids will be bored for large chunks of the movie’s runtime.
Pro: Storylines (+5pts)
While I said that there were too many storylines, each storyline individually was decent. I enjoyed the father and son issues in Johnny’s story line, I enjoyed Ash’s relationship problems, I liked the unfulfilled housewife with Rosita, and I enjoyed the rest as well. Each storyline left me wanting that character to win the competition which left me torn as I did not know which character I even wanted to win. I thought they all deserved it and sympathized with each one of them.
In such a cluttered kid’s movie, I think creating characters that the audience cares about individually was an impressive thing. This movie made several characters that the audience will be at least mildly interested in. No character will have audiences glued to the screen in anticipation of where their story will go next, but each character served their purpose of creating an ensemble of characters that the audience will care about equally. The filmmakers certainly made the movie better for having done this.
Con: The Catastrophe (-4pts)
Okay, so something bad happens in this movie. To avoid spoilers, let us just call it “the catastrophe”. It was clearly put in there to force the characters to hit their lowest point before coming together in the climax of the film. My issue with the catastrophe was that it felt like overkill.
It took the characters to rock bottom, then went way further to an extremely unnecessary degree. In my opinion, this was too much. It really did not affect the rest of the movie, so I do not really understand why this was done. The filmmakers clearly wanted to force more drama into the story, but going so far, unnecessarily, just made the whole thing fall flat. The movie definitely lost some steam at this point, and (as a result) I thought it was a bad move by the filmmakers.
Pro: Songs (+8pts)
As should be no surprise for a movie titled Sing, there were a large variety of songs throughout this movie. There are songs that the characters sang before the competition, more songs that they sang in rehearsal, and even more songs that they sang for the final performances. This movie had a ton of songs, from covers of popular songs to original songs. All of them were good, but unfortunately none of the original ones were all that memorable. Walking out of the movie, I couldn’t remember how even on of the original songs went. That could have something to do with the overload of songs throughout this film but, again, I thought all the songs were good.
Con: The Typo (-2pts)
Words cannot describe how much I hated this. I do not really know why because the act itself was such a minor part of the movie. I just do not know why they did not just intentionally make the fliers the way they ended up being. I do not think the movie really suffered because of this and others may love this part of the movie. I personally found it ridiculous in a bad way. I know, I was really vague for this, but I am trying to stay far away from spoiler territory so I cannot exactly go into a whole lot of detail regarding this issue. Just know that I thought the flier situation could have been handled a lot better by the filmmakers.
Grade: B- (82pts)
Sing was a decent kid's movie. With good (albeit forgettable) original songs, as well as covers of songs that both kids and parents will appreciate. It had a decent plot, but way too many fully developed characters which made the movie feel long, to the point at which some adults were falling asleep, and some kids lost interest and grew restless. I really enjoyed the competition element of this movie.
The competition got the audience engaged and the characters kept the audience guessing as to who would win (as well as changing their mind regarding who they want to win). I thought all of the voice actors did a great job in this movie and, where most of them were celebrity actors, the group I went with had fun guessing who voiced each character. I think most kids and adults will enjoy this movie to an extent, but will unanimously have the complaint that it felt too long. If you have any kids in your life, then I can recommend this movie, they will probably like it a lot more than you do, but I think you will still enjoy it to an extent.