Review: ‘Sing’ A Whole Lot of Singing With No Substance

Recently a friend of mine, Danielle, came up to me and asked about the film Sing. She was interested because she wants to take her two children, Owen and Olivia, to the movie when it comes out on Wednesday. My response to her was, “If you’ve seen the trailer, then you saw the best parts of the film.” As sad as Danielle may have been, one can not escape the fact that whoever cut the trailer for Sing truly deserves some award for best editing. Anyone who judges the film simply on the trailer would assume that this release is a fun and upbeat romp that the whole family would enjoy. In reality, it’s like watching paint dry for about 50 minutes with a slight payoff at the end (hardly worth your time or your money).

It’s not hard to understand why most would assume that this film appears to be a good movie. The idea of an animated singing competition with cute and cuddly animals is a great premise. However, music can only take you so far, and you need to have some substance to the narrative. How could they have not seen the issues with the movie? Did they think that glossing over this matter by just casting a bunch of A-list celebrities would fix the problem? No amount of vocal charm from Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon could fill this void. What was director/writer Garth Jennings thinking? While I understand the premise of the film is meant to take us back to Hollywood’s Golden age of entertainment, but even those shows had some purpose.



I imagine if I had a chance to ask Mr. Jennings what exactly was the purpose of this film, he’d probably tell me to inspire people to follow their dreams. My only response would be, shouldn’t I care about the people in your narrative? Shouldn’t the audience be rooting for these animals in your “singing competition?” Each one of these characters is incredibly bland and were crafted more to fill some character quota he needed to reach.

“Okay … we need a rebel girl singer .. let’s make her the Porcupine!”

“What about the housewife who once was a singer ….. let’s make her a pig!”

The writing in Sing is tired and quite frankly uninspired. I’m not even going to waste your time in laying out a summary of the film because frankly, it’s as predictable as they come. However, if I were to pick one positive in the colossal mistake that was Sing, it would be the final group of songs. For starters, it made me happy because it meant that this film was coming to an end and sweet relief was imminent. Secondly, it was impressive to see the range of songs they selected (From the Beatles to Bieber). Don’t confuse this as enough of a reason to go pay to see this film. If you want music variety, just flip on Spotify or Pandora. If you want to pay to see an animated film that’s worth your time, See Moana! 

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.