Oh, what “Sing” could have been if only the filmmakers had cared enough to fully flesh out their characters and the story. The idea of an animated musical set in the animal world and filled with aspiring vocal performers is a fun enough idea for a movie, and one that could’ve (and should’ve) been at least mildly entertaining. Too bad almost everything is so poorly executed that this dull, uninspired film has zero emotional impact.
The movie tells the story of Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) a down-on-his luck koala bear whose theater falls on hard times. In order to raise funds to keep his performing arts palace afloat, Buster devises an American Idol style singing competition. The final five contestants include a frazzled homemaker pig (Reese Witherspoon), a punk rocker porcupine (Scarlett Johansson), a gorilla born into a life of crime (Taron Egerton), a crooner mouse (Seth MacFarlane), and a shy elephant (Tori Kelly).
The animation is colorful and the characters forgettable, mostly due to the lackluster vocal talent (Kelly is absolutely abysmal here and is by far the worst of the bunch; McConaughey gave a much better performance in this year’s far better animated film, “Kubo and the Two Strings“). Instead of a compelling, touching or even engaging story, we just get a bunch of singing animals going through the motions.
The movie comes across as a junky mishmash of lame, poorly thought out ideas. I can imagine the writer’s room right now: “hey guys, let’s just throw a bunch of scenarios out there and whether they stick or not, let’s incorporate them into a movie.” Everything about this movie and its story is predictable, and in keeping with tradition of other craptacular Hollywood animated movies, there’s the requisite unfunny slang and unnecessary fart joke.
“Sing” is the same as watching some outdated, dumbed down reality t.v. singing competition show. The film is jammed with recognizable Top 40 pop songs to appease parents and the musical numbers are mildly enjoyable, but there’s not enough quality material to warrant a positive review.