Comic Book Curious

Sing 2: A Sneak Peek Perspective

December 13, 2021

By: Tuan Anh Tran

Getting a ticket for the Sing 2 sneak peek, I was unsure what to expect. Animated sequels tend to be hit or miss, and even the star power that Sing and Sing 2 provided might not be enough to draw in a crowd large enough to watch this sneak peek. Advertisements for Sing 2 felt niche and like they leaned hard into quirky gimmicks and repeating the same core story as the first film. Once we got to the theater, I could not have been further from the mark. The theater was mostly full due to online reservations, and there was a handful of walk-in customers hoping to snag last minute front row seats.

Normally for sequels, I gauge them on a less harsh rubric due to them rarely outperforming the original entry of the film or at least staying at the same level of quality. I am happy to say that Sing 2, in my opinion, is as good as Sing, and in some cases, outshines its predecessor.

After this paragraph we will be entering the spoiler review. So, if you wish to remain spoiler free, make sure to catch the film on its release and come back after to see if there are any points of agreement or disagreement.

***Spoilers Ahead***

What drew me to the first film and subsequently the sequel, was that at its core, the film was about developing self-worth, finding courage to pursue your passion, standing up for yourself and following your dreams. These are not new or flashy story points, but still fun and poignant. Immediately the film starts, and you are thrown into a theater production. You see most of the familiar cast of the first film performing on stage and it turns out that a scout is there. We are immediately sent from a scene of security to conflict ending up with the performance and cast being rated as fine for a small-town show, but not good enough for big time shows.

Immediately the sense of worth built up from the first film is brought into question and the film begins to feel like it’s leaning into first film mechanisms. Fortunately, that is not the case. Our favorite Koala Buster Moon puts his foot down and says that’s wrong and he can prove that they are amazing. A plan begins forming and he convinces the cast to follow him to a Las Vegas like equivalent to audition despite the scout’s opinion.

Next, we see the reintroduction of Ash, she was not with the Moon theater troupe and is performing live to a full audience at some pub or bar. Here we see her growth away from the theater and strength of character as we discover she told Moon that if he ever needed her, she would come back. Right after this pivotal piece of conversation, she is handed a check by the venue which is opened and seen to be significantly less than other acts. Ash comments about being underpaid and is told that as a new act, that is simply what she gets. In the background the crowd can be heard roaring for an encore which Ash was prepping to do, but instead decides to simply walk away. Having this reinforcement of Ash’s character growth was enchanting, and a good nod to let fans know that she was okay and thriving.

These two examples believing in yourself and having self-worth happen in just the first few minutes. Throughout the rest of the film, we are presenting incredible acts of humanity, seamlessly packed together with an incredibly large cast of characters. The following are the topics addressed and a small summary of how it's approached.

• Corruption and Abuse in show business – Buster Moon approaches big businessman or wolf Jimmy Crystal to put on a production at his casino. Through some back-and-forth dialogue Jimmy agrees to a show but seemingly jests that if Buster makes him look bad, he will throw him off a roof. Jimmy’s daughter randomly decides she should be the star of the show and Jimmy informs buster that keeping the producer happy would be a smart move. This forces Buster’s hand and has him replacing his original star actress Rosita, who is going through her own personal complication. Eventually Buster realizes that for the show to succeed he will need Rosita back on as the main character and through an understanding, Jimmy’s daughter believes she has been fired from the production at everyone hates here. This is when we are presented with an angry Jimmy who then attempts to throw Buster out of his skyscraper window but is interrupted by his assistant. Buster is than thrown into the closet and truly understands the actual physical danger he is in.

• Overcoming fear and standing up for yourself – Rosita, who was lightly mentioned earlier is elated to realize her dream of being in a huge production. Once the stage is constructed and pre-show stunts are being practiced, Rosita suddenly finds herself unable to deal with the extravagant wirework stunts and crumples to her knees in the scaffolding. Jimmy’s daughter Portia happened to be visiting set and quickly swooped in to perform the stunt haphazardly and was shoehorned into the part. Rosita is then given a smaller role which spirals her into despair. Eventually she overcomes her fear as she is given back her original role and is forced to overcome her fears to save Buster, as he is yet again being thrown off a high ledge once again by Jimmy Crystal near the end of the film.

• Bullying and overcoming the bully and knowing that learning happens differently for different people – Johnny is forced to train with a famous choreographer and is ill prepared to keep up to his strict standards. The choreographer, Klaus, expects Johnny to already be at an expert level, and does not bend in his teaching method. Johnny is mocked, beaten, and belittled daily and nearly quits altogether. He eventually finds a new teacher who is performing on the street, and the new teacher teaches Johnny in a way that he understands and thrives with. Eventually he comes face to face with Klaus during the live performance and proves that not only does he belong, but that Klaus was wrong.

 

• Unhealthy hero worshiping and co-dependence vs drawing a line and making a stand – Jimmy Crystal’s assistants. There are 2 assistants we are introduced to during the film, the first whom originally rates the theater troupe and says they are not good enough, and another who is consistently seen next to Jimmy doing busy work or groveling of some kind. The first assistant who was unlikeable at first, is suddenly seen in a new light when she helps Buster escape from the closet, he was thrown in to be later murdered. She is clearly in fear for his life, and this is the first instance where we as viewers discover that her initial assessment of the troupe might have more to do with protecting them and their lives more than it had to do with the actual performing skills. At the end of the film, she informs on Jimmy Crystal to the police, and this leads to his arrest. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the second assistant. During the entire film he is doing everything he can to be in Jimmy’s good graces. At the end of the film, Jimmy is being taken to custody, and the assistant can be seen kicking and screaming his love for Jimmy, despite the monstrous activities he has been up to.

There are several more incredible stories happening in concert with those I spoke of. There is grief and mourning growing into understanding and rediscovering oneself, there is growing into your own person without being trapped by an overly controlling father figure, and at the core of it all, there is that unifying thought and feeling that family is more than just blood.

If pressed to score this movie on a 1 to 10 scale, 1 being terrible and 10 being perfect, I walked out of the theater feeling the movie was a 7.5, but over time the whole thing kept getting bigger and bigger in my head and has grown into an 8. I scored the original Sing at 7.5. If you find yourself wondering what to see in theaters come late December, I whole heartedly recommend Sing 2.

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