Sing: High on Energy, Low on Originality
Matthew McConaugheyReese Witherspoon...
Christophe LourdeletGarth Jennings
In 4 Cinemas
As lively as it may be, there’s something missing from Garth Jennings’ Sing. Written and directed by Jennings himself, Hollywood’s latest animated musical is bursting with infectious energy and shines best when the long-list of musical numbers take centre stage. However, it’s the conventionality of everything else that prevents the movie from hitting all of the right notes.
The story tells of Buster Moon (McConaughey); a Koala bear and theatre owner who, after a series of professional failures, is in desperate need of a hit show. As a result, he decides to host a singing competition which he hopes will be able to bring back some life into his theatre.
However, due to a mistake with the flyers, which end up getting printed with a grand prize of $100,000 instead of $1,000, Buster soon finds himself a little overwhelmed with the response when every animal in the city who dream of becoming a star decides to audition.
Said animals include Rosita (Witherspoon), a mama pig who has always dreamt of becoming a singer and Ash (Johansson); a teenage rocker porcupine who wants to become a solo artist after a life of serving as a backup singer and many others.
There are a lot of characters to a keep a track of in Sing and Jennings manages to infuse their introductions with a relatively lively and an energetic pace, most probably to ensure that the youngsters in the crowd stay fully alert. Embracing its premise to the fullest, the story’s musical repertoire manages to cover just about every pop-song that was made between the 1980’s all the way to 2000’s.
However, although all pretty catchy and fun to watch – one of the best parts of the movie is watching all the animals audition – they are never really given a chance to fully play out, leaving the movie’s jukebox approach fun, sure, but a little frustrating at the same time. While it manages to ooze plenty of energy and wit during its musical moments, the same cannot be said for the unfolding of the story itself, which, at struggles to fit everything and everyone in.
Fortunately, the performances are solid and the entire cast manages to bring just enough enthusiasm to keep things ticking along nicely and even if the characters lack complexity and depth, Sing is not a total bust. It’s just not as electrifying or as exciting as it perhaps could have been, thanks to a predictable plot progression – everything plays out exactly how you expect it to.