Overview: To reignite interest in the declining state of his theater, an ambitious and optimistic koala holds a singing competition. Universal Pictures; 2016; PG; 110 minutes.
The Demise of the Tell-All Trailer: Within the series of three main trailers launched to promote Sing, the rise, the fall, and the comeback bares it all in the span of less than ten minutes. What you see is what you get. Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) hopes to uplift the contestants by reassuring them, “You know what’s great about hitting rock bottom? There’s only one way left to go, and that’s up!” The most compelling trailer to lure the audience features Eminem’s “Sing for the Moment,” crossing over into Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Although the use of this song fully embodied the conflict and torn emotion each of the animals experienced, the same level didn’t transition into the film itself.
All Star Cast, Bright and White: In an attempt to create relatable characters, absent of any culture or substantial dialogue, their personalities fell flat. Voiced by A-List actors, the bland population resembles a poor attempt at a melting pot without any seasoning. In a world of anamorphic animals, any and all traditional characters become null. If Director Garth Jennings had approached the movie from a progressive stance and truly embodied how diverse individuals and families are, he could have capitalized on the opportunity to portray Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), the spiritless housewife, as the breadwinner, or shown Ash (Scarlett Johansson), the edgy rocker, overcoming a breakup with her girlfriend. The characters, despite being clearly defined by their specific talents and personal conflicts develop in an uninspiring manner. Mike (Seth MacFarlane), the cocky crooner, ceases his taunts towards Meena only when he witnesses her voice, not through realizing her value. Throw in Johnny (Taron Egerton), the son of a gang leader, and Buster’s own plight to keep his theater afloat and the plot over-saturates with transitions from one perspective to another without breaking the surface.
The Songs of Sing: Without a doubt, the main highlights centered on the auditions, resembling The Voice, to further emphasize vocal capabilities as opposed to vocal shortcomings. The try-out sessions offered a variety of songs to depict the range of styles and taste in music. Sing erred on the side of predictability from beginning to end with one exception. Notable for his role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Egerton brings a vibrancy and smooth style, particularly in his aloof singing musings of The Zombies “The Way I Feel Inside.” Sing includes a few original and repeatable tracks, including “Set It All Free” performed by Johansson, Ash’s post-breakup rise from the ashes anthem. Stevie Wonder, featuring Ariana Grande, shuts the movie down with “Faith,” a gift from the legend himself.
Overall: As entertaining as the musical segments are, Sing banked on the limited, often unsuccessful, comedic moments and rapid-fire auditions. Some actors may want to consider practicing voice acting on a smaller scale, i.e. everyone except MacFarlane and Leslie Jones.
Featured Image: Universal Pictures