VOD film review: Sing
Andrew Jones | On 22, May 2017
Director: Garth Jennings
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, John C. Reilly, Reese Witherspoon
Pop songs and cartoon animals have gone hand in hand since Shrek burst out of his outhouse back in the year 2000, but 2017 has seen two films wherein colourful cartoons sang famous songs throughout an adventure: DreamWorks’ Trolls decided to make singing part of the culture of characters, whereas in Sing, Illumination (you know, the studio that made Minions) has opted to bring in the concept of a talent show to house the karaoke on display, and an astonishingly starry cast of actors to bolster such extravagance.
In Sing we meet a koala named Buster Moon, played by an excitable and goofy Matthew McConaughey, whose boyhood dreams of owning a theatre have turned into a financial and creative nightmare as an adult. When Moon and best pal, lazy heir Eddie (John C Reilly in a very Reilly-like mode), hatch a plan to get more bums on seats, it sets the town alight with dreams of stardom and appearing to show their individual talents on stage to the rest of the world. Cue invisible, long-suffering housewife pig Rosita (Witherspoon), gangster gorilla son Johnny (Kingsman’s Taron Egerton) and cocky Ratpack mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane, in a rare role not written by himself) lining up to prove themselves, and perhaps get a taste of prize money.
The colourful cast all have strong moments of comedy – and, more importantly, drama – but what’s most surprising is the film’s writer-director Garth Jennings, of Son of Rambow fame, who manages to hit the right notes without ever feeling like the film is trying hard to be GIF-able and recited online in comments sections. There’s an honesty and an overwhelming positivity to the proceedings that continues to enthrall when the film hits the necessary story beats, and really helps retain a smile on the face of any viewer, no matter how cynical they may be. Sing is doesn’t reshape the wheel, but it knows how much fun it can have, while playing the same tune over again, this time with Nick Kroll as an energetic German pig dancer. Need we say more?