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Opening Date
08 Dec 2016
108 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Animation, Comedy
Garth Jennings
Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon
A koala named Buster recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theater by hosting a singing competition.
By Freddy  08 Dec 2016
Like the animals in the singing competition, Sing is entertaining enough but has plenty of unrealised potentials.
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The premise of the film is interesting if unoriginal. It’s American Idols with animals. Kids will surely enjoy watching these various animals singing and dancing around. They don’t have to like all of the animals, there are plenty to choose from.

The characters are likeable enough, with their own backstories to present challenges in their journey. The overly optimistic main character, the koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), aims to save his theatre from bankruptcy with a singing competition. The pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) is a busy housewife with 25 piglets and an unappreciative husband. The gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton) is forced by his father to join his robbery gang. The list goes on.

Unfortunately, Sing juggles too many stories to give each character the depth they deserve. The problems are realistic and relatable enough, but many of them are instantly resolved at the end without much build-up. In addition, the film missed the chance exploring the rivalry or camaraderie between the contestants. Besides the rivalry between the cocky mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane) and the shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly) and a few seconds of the animals comforting the porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) after her breakup, they barely have any interaction with each other.

The film lacks the suspense and excitement that its competition premise promises. We knew right from the start that the prize money is a meager $1,000 (falsely advertised as $100,000). Once our main characters were selected by Buster Moon to put on some sort of concert together, any sense of competitiveness is gone. It would have been fun to see through the competition concept that although everyone deserves to win, only one can. However, the film decides to make everyone a winner.

The pop song covers are alright, but there is nothing to shout about. The standout singers are Tori Kelly, Seth MacFarlane, and Jennifer Hudson in her short performance as the young Nana Noodleman, a sheep who was a famous singer.

I think a special mention should be made for Garth Jennings as Karen Crawly, an elderly green iguana who is Buster Moon’s loyal assistant. Even without singing at all, she is probably the most entertaining character in the film.

The visuals are bright, colourful, and fluid. I expect nothing less from Illumination Entertainment. Something that bugs me a little is how the mouths of the characters do not always sync well to the voices, especially when they are singing.

Like the animals in the singing competition, Sing is entertaining enough but has plenty of unrealised potentials. The kids in the audience would probably enjoy the film just fine, although the sappy parts towards the end might get a bit boring. For adults, the story might be a tad too predictable and lacks charm. Sing could have been Pitch Perfect-meets-Zootopia but it ends up as a rather weak entry among this year’s animated features.
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