Saturday, December 31, 2016
So what is this movie really about? Because as I said, all the trailers focused on were the auditions of all these animals. In an odd turn of events, these auditions were like five minutes of the movie towards the beginning. That's it. In order to make sure I don't forget anything, I actually had to take notes on all the main characters because if I have it right, this movie has seven main storylines interconnecting in one giant maze of a movie. Our main storyline is of a koala named Buster, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, who is really high on himself, but in reality kinda sucks at life. He was inspired by to get into the music business by this famous singer that blew him away and thus I believe he ends up purchasing the city's main musical hall and is in charge of putting on all the plays and musical productions. Or something to that effect. Despite his best efforts, it's a business that he's really not cut out for as everything he puts on is a big failure. It's so bad that he has earned like no money and the bank is trying to foreclose on the theater and possess it if he can't pay his debts. In a last ditch effort, he decides to put on a musical competition that he thinks is going to blow the city away and his plan is to offer $1,000 to the winner because that's all he has.
Yeah, this movie is kinda packed with story. It's almost targeted at the people group of people who can't focus on one specific storyline for longer than five minutes as it keeps bouncing around to all of these people and stories. And should I mention that in either supporting or cameo roles we also have Nick Kroll, Peter Serafinowicz, Beck Bennett, Leslie Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Offerman, Bill Farmer, Adam Buxton, Brad Morris, Wes Anderson, Chris Renaud, Edgar Wright and a whole lot more? In a weird way, though, this actually works. I found myself invested in all of these different stories and characters. Even though we bounced around a ton -- I would've been fine with slowing things down and maybe only having half as many storylines going on -- I thought the movie did a decent job of balancing everything and making you care about everyone. Each of the characters has a very different story and background and each of these stories teaches a different message that can be valuable to young kids. Sure, from the moment each story is introduced you know exactly how it's going to turn out, but being that this is a kid's movie, but they did a good enough job with the stories that a predictable plot is forgivable. We don't need crazy twists in a kids movie.
If I were to point out one major flaw, I would say that this movie isn't necessarily a super memorable movie as it does kinda wonder for the majority of the run time. In a perfect scenario, if you are making a kids movie, you want it to be a movie that will entertain the kids from beginning to end and cause them to want to watch the movie on repeat once it comes to DVD because of how entertaining it is. And if you want to be on perfect Pixar level with your movie, you will also find a way to touch and inspire adults as well. For a good portion of this movie, I think this hits a black zone where it's not super entertaining for the kids and is not really memorable for adults. The opening sequences with the auditions were a huge hit with all the kids in the theater. But then we set up so much story that we don't have enough time to do all the fun musical stuff and thus we have a story heavy plot because we have so many stories to catch up on. In my personal observations, there was a long period of time where I heard no laughs or excited reactions from all the kids in the theater. Thus I feared that this might be a boring movie that none of them liked or will want to watch again. On the adult front, I was kinda getting bored, too. I found myself wanting more musical stuff and less story.
Overall, if you're looking for a family-friendly movie to take your kids to, "Sing" is a pretty good option. It has an entertaining beginning with a great setup to all of our characters and a phenomenal ending. It sets up so much story that for much of the middle of the movie it spends time doing justice to all of the stories it set, thus for a while it loses all of its audience. It probably would've been better off cutting some of the storylines and spend more time with animals singing. As is, it's only a musical in the very beginning and the very end. But I think the finale and the intro are good enough to leave a good impression on both kids and adults. Also, as a fair warning, your kids might walk out singing, "Oh my gosh, look at her butt." That was an unnecessary part of the audition phase. The rest is super kid friendly, though. And all in all, in seeing these movies, I do my best to observe how the kids reacted and in talking to my nieces and nephews afterwards, I honestly think they had a good time. I don't think anyone had their mind blown, but I think this is a movie that did it's job and in my opinion is Illumination's third best movie behind the two "Despicable Me" movies. I'll give "Sing" an 8/10.