“Sing” Fails to Hit a High Note (Review)

Sing (2016)
Universal Pictures

Directed by: Garth Jennings
Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy
Written by: Garth Jennings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly

The Good
One of the most obvious highlights of this film is the many musical performances. There are a number of popular hits that will be relatively familiar to viewers. The play off of the American Idol audition also helps this film. It’s enjoyable to see characters who are bad to really outstanding. Similar to the movie Zootopia, Sing does a nice job of blending a variety of animals to evoke most of its jokes and humor. While it strives to be funny, there are actually a few touching moments. (The father and son gorilla moment kinda got to me.)

To my surprise, there is a bit of an unexpected twist in the middle of the film. The film does a nice job of emphasizing the notion of following your dreams, and I do believe that the finale does salvage the movie in terms of a slight payoff.

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The Bad
Unfortunately, there are lot of issues surrounding the music. The first issue is the lack of original songs throughout the movie. That’s usually the main highlight for many song-based films, and Sing really doesn’t capitalize on that opportunity. Instead, it feels more like a series of karaoke songs.

The other musical issue is that if you’re not familiar with the songs, it’ll be a little hard to connect with the film. There seems to be both a lack of variety in the song arrangements and a noticeable gap in the type of music. For instance, it feels as though the film caters to fans of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Frank Sinatra.

Besides the musical issues, I think one of the biggest disconnects with Sing is that the movie doesn’t connect to kids. There are adult-related issues (such as being a stay-at-home mom with a lot of kids) that I don’t think children will resonate with. So it’s not going to be much of a surprise if some of the jokes go way over their heads.

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The Reason
Sing gets some things right but also misses a lot of opportunities to really hit a home run with children. I think it tries too hard to appeal to different demographics, and in the process, gets a bit lost. As I said, if you’re not familiar with some of the musicians, then this movie may not be up your alley. It may still be worth watching if you have children, but I’d double-check their iPods to make sure the music from the trailer is something they’d actually appreciate.

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