Sing Movie Review
A surprising, or not so surprising, holiday hit (it’s about singing animals, after all), the animated comedy Sing is a huge disappointment, a largely boring affair saved only by bursts of energy and a strong climax. The movie plays like a dull, American Idol-fueled version of Zootopia, an overly long tale that left me squirming in my seat.
Sing is about Buster Moon, a cute but slightly obnoxious koala bear (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) who, facing the loss of his impoverished performance theater, attempts to pull off yet another failure by hosting a singing competition in which he may or may not have promised the contestants a grand prize of $100,000, a sum he may or may not actually have.
The problem with Sing is that while it’s animated, full of talking animals and sprinkles of humor, co-directors Garth Jennings and Christopher Lourdelet approach the movie as if it’s a drama, or at least one of those many dance-or-music-themed competition flicks that aren’t really funny nor serious, but work because, you know, they are live-action and have some kind of forward momentum. As an animated movie that clearly wants to be funny, Sing comes off as more of a dud than anything else.
Piece by piece, Sing has the components to be an entertaining movie: it has well-defined and often quirky characters (the most crowd-pleasing are a flamboyant pig and Buster Moon’s bumbling, elderly secretary), several song-and-dance numbers and top-notch animation.
But the pieces don’t stick together in any meaningful way, leading to several stretches of tedium.
A tighter story (the movie, at 108 minutes, could have easily been 90) and more dedication to humor would have gone a long way; the funniest supporting characters are offset by interesting but generally humorless main characters and the only time I truly laughed at loud was a sequence involving a car wash, which comes toward the tail end of the film. Sing’s final 20 minutes are pretty solid as Jennings and Lourdelet finally unleash the full power and energy of their concept upon the audience, but it’s also just a reminder of how much of that is missing earlier on.
Little kids may be intrigued by the singing and talking animals on display in Sing, but then again, they may just be as bored as I was. Best to just put Zootopia on replay.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.