'Sing 2' review: Pop songs get the animated treatment, again

Dozens of pop hits are loosely tied together in a would-be inspirational story.

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

An avalanche of pop songs hits the screen in "Sing 2," the follow-up to 2016's "Sing," in which cute animal characters sing today's biggest hits. 

There's not much more to it than that. Like the "Trolls" franchise, the music is the name of the game, and the story is just a means to cram as many pop songs on screen as possible — in this case, more than 40 hits from Elton John, Prince, Eminem, Billie Eilish, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Taylor Swift, Adele and more — before the end credits roll. So if young audience members emerge more exposed to U2, Aerosmith or System of a Down than they were prior, everyone goes home, well, at least relatively happy. 

Nick Kroll, Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson voice characters in "Sing 2."

Buster Moon (voice of Matthew McConaughey) returns as a small-time theater producing koala with big dreams. He's told by a talent scout that he doesn't have what it takes to play in the major leagues, and he tries to prove her wrong, which leads him and his troupe of animal performers — Rosita the pig (Reese Witherspoon), Johnny the gorilla (Taron Egerton), Ash the punk rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) and more — to Redshore City, the "Sing" universe's version of Las Vegas. 

There they set out to perform a big show in the theater of Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale), and they promise to deliver the first performance in years by reclusive rock singer Clay Calloway (U2's Bono). First they have to woo Calloway, part of which involves singing him U2's "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," a weird acknowledgement that maybe Calloway really is Bono?

Best not to give it too much thought. No songs are given any real room to breathe — not even the treacly new U2 number, "Your Song Saved My Life (from Sing 2)" and yes that really is the full title — because "Sing 2" is always moving on to the next thing. The songs might get stuck in your head, but "Sing 2" won't. 



'Sing 2'


Rated PG: for some rude material and mild peril/violence

Running time: 110 minutes

In theaters