Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Sequels are never what you expect them to be. Take the Cars trilogy for example. Cars is a simple film about racing and the importance of family and friends, whereas its sequel, Cars 2, is a complex spy thriller circulating around an alternative fuel conspiracy, and filled with espionage and murder. Most sequels are blatant cash-grabs. Corporate executives and movie producers are consumed by Hollywood greed, so much so that they don’t care how many “Fast and Furious” movies that they make, as long as they make money. Be honest with me. Do you think anyone emerged from theaters in 1994 saying, “Wow, The Next Karate Kid changed my life.”
Sing 2 is no exception to that fundamental truth. I remember watching the original Sing for the first time. I walked out of the theater feeling a weird emotion, right in between depressed and disgusted. If you haven’t seen Sing, let me summarize it for you: a koala, who owns a theater, is sad because he bought into the single least-cared-about industry in the world, the arts, so he attempts to save his edifice from imminent destruction by performing a singing competition between five animals. In essence it is just Zootopia but worse and with a whole lot more singing (hence the name I suppose).
Now my opinions of this movie may be a little tainted because I had my worst movie theater experience of all time while watching the film. First off, I went to see Sing 2, a children’s movie let me remind you, completely alone, which was a big mistake in itself. I walked into the theater and every single parent’s head turned, wondering if I was offering free “candy” to their children. I took my seat in the back of the theater, right next to two mothers and their daughters. Both women were sipping beer out of 32 oz. cups, which I guess made the near two-hour run time go by much faster. As the lights dimmed and the movie began, I learned that the women had not paid attention to the video detailing movie theater etiquette that plays before every show. They would not stop talking, and they weren’t quiet either. The sound of their voices is still ringing in my ears. Regardless, Sing 2 is more painful to sit through than watching Glee for the storyline. Here are my top five qualms with the movie that can only be described by one word: cacophony.
Meena, an elephant played by Tori Kelly, single handedly made me want to pull a Van Gogh in the middle of the theater. If you’ve seen Sing, you understand my beef with the elephant. Across both movies, Meena’s character arc has been that she was too nervous to sing, but guess what, she had confidence within herself all along. Whoopdeedoo. You’re introduced to Meena in the first film at her grandfather’s birthday party. While everyone is singing Happy Birthday with the customary imperfect harmony of families, Meena decides to steal the show by singing louder than everyone else, and then proceeds to get embarrassed by her “pick-me” actions. Meena does not get any better in Sing 2. This time around, her individual story line is that she is too nervous to sing her duet with the handsome, One Direction era Harry Styles-esque Darius, a Yak played by Eric Andre, because at the end of their song, she has to kiss him. I feel like as an actor, you should be able to act. I mean come on, that’s the name of the job. It’s the bare minimum for the profession and yet Meena proves herself once again as a naive buffoon.
2.) Every Single Other Character
I’ve realized that every single character in this production is the exact type of person that I would despise in real life. Don’t get me wrong. I love the arts and the fabulous people that dedicate their lives to it, but the last thing that I want when I’m doing illicit activities at Waffle House at 3 in the morning is 30 high schoolers singing the soundtrack to Cats.
3.) The Government is Corrupt
It’s obvious that Richard Nixon was the president in the Sing universe, because the effects of the war on drugs are prevalent in the two films. A group of gorillas are imprisoned for gang violence while the billionaire white wolf, Jimmy Crystal, gets off with only community service for theft, assault, child neglect, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
4.) The Production Within The Production
Gunter, a fat pig played by Nick Kroll, had the worst idea for a musical that I have ever heard, but my expectations for Illumination Entertainment were very low because their best idea has been a bunch of yellow indentured servants in denim. In Sing 2, the animals put on a “space musical” where an astronaut travels to three different planets. Honestly it was the most painfully boring thing that I have ever sat through. Yes, even more so than Screenagers.
5.) Shoving Pop Culture Down Your Throat
If you boil Sing 2 down to its essence, you’ll discover that the film is just an animated version of KIDZ BOP. I’m almost positive that they assembled the soundtrack by surveying the top 100 pop songs from two to five years ago. The song placement is atrocious, too. For example, as the main characters are sneaking into the auditions for whatever talent show they’re hyped up for at that time, the director chose to play “bad guy” by Billie Eilish in the background. If you haven’t heard “bad guy” before, I’ll save you a listen: it sounds like Jacob Sartorius’ emo transformation if it was documented in song. One particularly striking lyric from this song that can be heard very clearly is “I‘m that bad type… Might seduce your dad type.” I’m not exactly sure what emotions this song was supposed to evoke in me, but this song just makes me feel a bit more uncomfortable about the fact that I was in a movie theater alone with a bunch of children. In films, the soundtrack is supposed to progress the storyline, but this movie just made me appreciate Playboi Carti more for creating music so painful to listen to that it would never be in this film.
Over the random long weekend which coincides with a certain religious holiday that our secular school gave us off, I had an eye opening conversation with a seven-year-old girl named Charlee, which is really the most disgusting way to spell the name. She talked to me about how she only draws with crayons, not markers, on Fridays. I told her that the closest that I get to being artistic is writing for my school’s newspaper. It took her a while to grasp the concept of a newspaper, but once she did, she was fascinated. She asked me if I wrote all the time, and I said, only when grades are due. I told her that I was writing a perspective on Sing 2. Her big eyes lit up. She was excited that I was finally speaking her language. She enjoyed the movie for being a bunch of singing animals, but that’s the exact reason why I didn’t. Anyways, she was born eight years after “Charlie bit my finger,” so who are you really gonna trust on this matter? Don’t watch Sing 2.