‘Sing 2’ Takes Bullying To An Unexpected Level

In a film about reaching for the stars and never letting your dreams slip away, the only thing that stood out in Sing 2 was the attempted murder of one of the characters. While the film offers more laughs and real-world feelings of shyness and grief, it doesn’t stand out against some of the other animated films of the year. But hey, kids will have fun for an hour and 52 minutes.

Sing 2 introduces a Las Vegas hotel owner Mr. Crystal, played by Bobby Cannavale. He is a ruthless owner that gives off mob boss vibes when it comes to the entertainment shown in his hotel. When Buster Moon promises a show that he can’t deliver, including a terrible performance by Mr. Crystal’s daughter Porsha, played by Halsey, Mr. Crystal threatens to throw Moon off the top of his hotel. While themes like this have existed in children’s programming before, Scar killing Mufasa comes to mind; there was something extremely dark and sinister about how Sing 2 handles it not once but twice in the film.

Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale, center) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings.
Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale, center) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings.
© 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

The second installment didn’t wow me in the same way the first film did. Maybe it was the exit of small-town vibes and the entrance of the stuffy gatekeeping that the entertainment industry suffers, but the film was missing the same heart. Sing 2 does bring a cast of new characters to the franchise including Bono, Halsey, Letitia Wright, and Pharrell Willams. It’s always a treat to hear Scarlett Johansson belt a tune, but the Sing franchise feels like a ploy to boost record sales in a flashier way than Kidz Bop.

Sing 2 cast
(from left) Klaus Kickenklober (Adam Buxton, third from left), Johnny (Taron Egerton), Meena (Tori Kelly), Nooshy (Letitia Wright), Clay Calloway (Bono), Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Porsha Crystal (Halsey), Darius (Eric André), Ash (Scarlett Johansson) and Gunter (Nick Kroll) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings.
© 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

But as a parent, my critical review of an animated movie doesn’t hold as much weight as a child’s point of view. My daughter loved Sing 2 and thought it was funnier than the first film. We both agreed that more Miss Crawly scenes are always a plus.

Miss Crawly (Garth Jennings) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings.
Miss Crawly (Garth Jennings) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings.
© 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.

This holiday season, the new chapter in Illumination’s smash animated franchise arrives with big dreams, and spectacular hit songs as the ever-optimistic koala, Buster Moon, and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage extravaganza yet …all in the glittering entertainment capital of the world. There’s just one hitch: They first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star—played by global music icon Bono, in his animated film debut—to join them. What begins as a dream of big-time success becomes an emotional reminder of the power of music to heal even the most broken heart.

 

Ash (Scarlett Johansson) and Clay Calloway (Bono) in Illumination’s Sing 2
(from left) Ash (Scarlett Johansson) and Clay Calloway (Bono) in Illumination’s Sing 2, written and directed by Garth Jennings. © 2021 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. All Rights Reserved.
Meghan Cooper
Meghan Cooperhttps://jamonkey.com
Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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