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'Sing 2' review: Harmless animated sequel plays the same hits

Courtesy of Universal Pictures


You might get dizzy watching Garth Jennings harmless but frazzled “Sing 2,” the animated sequel to 2016’s song and dance show where Matthew McConaughey voiced a koala named Buster Moon, because it’s not short on monstrous, ear-worm jams that have taken over the radio and, probably, your child’s preferred listening habits. Songs from The Chainsmokers, Katy Perry and Coldplay are brought to bouncy, hyper-caffeinated life in “Sing 2” which repackages the same formula from “Sing” where the screenplay isn’t necessarily fueled by the narrative, but the Billboard Top 40.

“Sing” was a runaway global success that guaranteed a sequel was inevitable and instead of trying to tweak or tamper expectations, Jennings stuck to the status quo and, for better or worse, “Sing 2” moderately gets the job done if only for the sole purpose of keeping your child distracted for 90 minutes while you do the dishes. And what young toddler won’t love the sight of furry, cuddly animals belting their favorite tunes at an accelerated rate?

“Sing” ended on an upbeat note that signaled this lovable gang of critters would finally see their dreams of becoming major pop stars come true. Well, five years later and “Sing 2” presents new challenges for Buster Moon’s singing troupe. While his reimagined production of “Alice in Wonderland” is selling plenty of tickets for local audiences, it’s the big city where the accolades and cash roll in. Except talent scout/dog Suki (Chelsea Peretti), an old friend of Buster, affirms the show doesn’t have what it takes for greener pastures and bigger budgets. This sends the brigade, including porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton) and Petunia the pig (Reese Witherspoon) on a cross-country “America’s Got Talent” road-trip to prove they have what it takes.

They’ll have to impress the ruthless Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale), the Simon Cowell of the “Sing” cinematic universe, and though he takes a chance on their hastily drawn sci-fi musical concept, it comes with a caveat: persuading elusive lion legend/rocker Clay Calloway (Bono!) out of retirement and giving his prima donna offspring Porsha (Halsey) a juicy lead role.

Aside from those minor plot inclusions, “Sing 2” maintains its objective of getting young moviegoers to enjoy a menagerie of catalog hits primed and remastered for maximum efficiency. There’s nothing special brewing underneath the hood and the roster of A-listers adding their vocals to the film doesn’t move the needle in terms of quality (although there’s something comical about Bono voicing a lion). It’s serviceable, but there’s nothing urgent or pressing about “Sing 2” that warrants a trip to the movies. Wait for streaming.

Grade: C+

SING 2 opens in theaters Wednesday, December 22nd


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