Sing 2 film review: Candy colours and animation are sharp and exciting to watch


(U) 110mins


SEQUELS of a much-loved film can be tricky and sticking to the original winning formula is always a good idea.

It’s something that Sing 2 does a little too well, stepping in several of the same footprints.

Having formed a talented crew in the first film, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is the koala with stars in his eyes and wants to get the gang together, to perform a dazzlingly stylish stage show in front of a packed arena.

The narrative feels a bit thin and lazy, considering the first scene of the film shows the band already performing in a successful stage show with an enthusiastic audience.

But Buster wants bigger and brighter.

In trying to wangle his way into the big time, he promises the sinister media mogul Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale) that he will ensure world-famous musician Clay Calloway (Bono) joins them on stage every night.

The only problem is that Clay is a recluse who has not been seen or heard on stage for 15 years.

The idea of having Clay involved swings it for Jimmy, who lets Buster fulfil his dream — as long as he keeps the promise. If not, Jimmy tells Buster he will “throw him off the roof”.

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This sets Sing 2 up for the predictable teetering-on-the-edge-of- disaster plot line, with Buster’s dreams potentially being shattered if Clay, who we soon discover is a grieving old man, won’t perform.

Many of the other characters are going through their own mini-crises, too.

Piano-playing gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton) can’t get a grip of the choreography, down-to-earth pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) develops crippling vertigo and new wolf character Porsha Crystal (Halsey) cries herself to sleep after a teeny bit of criticism.

Written and directed by Garth Jennings, Sing 2 is packed full of fantastic tunes, from Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire — and fans young and old will love punk porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) and Bono’s beautiful rendition of U2’s classic I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Also, the candy colours and animation are sharp and exciting to watch.

Sing 2 certainly won’t go down in the history books of brilliance.

But its all-star cast, rip-roaring energy and impressive soundtrack mean it passes the audition round.


(15) 99mins


A DECAYING haunted house is at the heart of this horror film. And boy does Amulet deliver on chills and spills.

From the outset, actress-turned-director Romola Garai conjures intense feelings of fear and paranoia.

Expect jumpy dream sequences, slasher gore and fanged bat-like creatures. Yet there’s little cliché about this film.

It begins with Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) as a young soldier guarding an isolated post deep in a forest during an unnamed foreign war.

While digging one day, he finds a carved figurine of a woman, a mysterious amulet.

Suddenly we see a slightly older and bearded Tomaz waking up from a disturbing dream in a London squat.

Tomaz works as a builder in the city to earn small amounts of cash he hides away each night.

After a freak fire in the squat leaves him penniless, he meets Sister Claire (Imelda Staunton) who offers him a place to stay in the old house, inhabited by a young woman Magda (Carla Juri) and her dying mother.

As Tomaz starts falling for Magda we see a glimmer of a happy ending.

But he cannot ignore his rising suspicion that something evil is living in the house.

The brilliant stomach-churning twist, involving the amulet, will stick with you for days after watching.


(PG) 120mins


THE Spanish dream team of actress Penelope Cruz and writer-director Pedro Almodovar continue to shine in their seventh collaboration.

In typical Almodovar style, there’s astute portrayals of women and a hefty dollop of thought-provoking political history – as well as an outstanding turn from Cruz who somehow makes the melodramatic, convoluted plot seem plausible.

She plays Janis, a single, self-assured photographer living in Madrid.

Nearing her 40th birthday she gets pregnant after a fling with married Arturo (Israel Elejalde) and chooses to end their affair but keep the baby.

Her roommate in the maternity ward is Ana (Milena Smit), a younger woman living with her narcissist mum Teresa (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon).

The two bond but after taking their daughters home, Janis slowly realises there has been a mix-up and each has been discharged with the other’s newborn.

The tumultuous plot twists constantly, linking back to darker times from Spain’s past but balanced so deftly that it captivates.

It helps that the confident, nuanced explorations of motherhood are hysteria-free and cut through with style and comedy, especially from Rossy de Palma, who plays Janis’ friend Elena.

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