Reel Thoughts: Although a fun watch, ‘Sing 2’ lacks depth


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

“Sing 2” hit theaters in December. The star-studded sequel didn’t live up to the praise.

Olivia Alexander and Joanne Haner

This article contains spoilers.

Winter Break brought us many large-scale movie releases: “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “The Matrix Resurrections,” “West Side Story” and, of course, “Sing 2.”

A movie about animated animals chasing their superstar singing dreams, “Sing 2” could be easily overlooked by college students. But after seeing the film’s box office numbers and countless TikToks offering praise, we naturally had to see the movie ourselves.

The sequel to 2016’s “Sing” follows fan-favorite koala Buster Moon as he brings the talents of his team to Redshore City. When their audition fails to impress the city’s entertainment mogul, they pursue an adventure in recruiting the reclusive rock star Clay Calloway (Bono) to join them and wow the big city audience.

Similar to the first movie, “Sing 2” is undoubtedly star-studded. A-list celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey make their return, and other celebrities like Halsey, Pharrell Williams, Chelsea Peretti and U2 frontman Bono join the cast for the first time.

The soundtrack and background music include both classics and modern hits — Aretha Franklin, Billie Eilish and BTS, to name a few. Eilish’s chart-topping song “Bad Guy” playing as the characters attempt to sneak into the audition room made us smile. By including current tracks, the movie’s Bono-heavy music steers clear of becoming too outdated.

The singing was spot on (no surprise), and tying famous names to the voices of new characters was a fun game in itself. Casting a musical icon lion as Bono felt oddly right.

But despite the show-stopping soundtrack and stellar singing, the sequel was unable to continue the amazing character development in “Sing” that we longed to see. The first installment gave us individual stories that wove together to create a community by the end of the film, but the second film simply rested on that idea of “community” rather than genuinely building upon it. The sequel mainly focuses on Buster Moon’s personal goals and issues without further developing his character.

We would have wanted to see more interactions between gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), and his originally-unsupportive-but-since-changed criminal father to show how their relationship has continued to grow and improve. In the first movie, we saw Johnny’s dad transform from being ashamed of having a son who sings to breaking out of jail to see him shine onstage. “Sing 2” could have accomplished more by developing their trajectory and making a point about parent-child relationships.

Aside from this missed opportunity, we also think the main villain of the film, entertainment tycoon and wolf Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale), was a bit too violent for a children’s film. Crystal tries to kill Moon not only once, but twice over the course of the movie by throwing him off a roof.

Crystal also lacks depth — instead of showing any type of remorse, he remains overzealous to the end, when he is arrested. Even then, his character doesn’t admit any wrongs, something normally shown in a children’s movie as a sign of character growth.

In all, “Sing 2” is a fun watch filled with colorful musical numbers and beautiful visuals, but it was a little too koala-centric for us. All the praiseful TikToks were slightly misleading, and the number of missed opportunities was off-putting. If the Sing cinematic universe is to continue, we hope to see more from the characters we know and love.

Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joanne_n_h
Twitter: @oliviagalex

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