Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy director, Garth Jennings teams up with Despicable Me 2 story animator Christophe Lourdelet for Illumination's longest film, about a singing contest held in hope to help save the anthropomorphic city's Moon Theatre.
The theatre belonging to Buster Moon, a koala voiced superbly well by Matthew McConaughey. This being his second voice performance for an animated film, his first only being last year's Kubo and the Two Strings. His inherited and beloved theatre is in a dire situation, with failed productions after production putting Moon under financial strain and in a stroke of genius, he decides to host a contest that would hopefully turn the tables and rescue his theatre.
Interest spread far and wide, from the weird and wonderful characters voiced by some surprising actors. Most surprising being Seth MacFarlane as Mike the arrogant and self righteous mouse performance in style of Rat Packs era legends like Sinatra. I didn't even recognise Scarlett Johansson voice as punk rocker porcupine, Ash; and is there no limit to Taron Egerton's talents, first Kingsman, then Eddie The Eagle and now singing his heart out in this, playing Johnny the aspiring Gorilla trying to take a different path to his father's choice of being a criminal. Life Aquatic and Grand Hotel Budapest director Wes Anderson even provides some of the additional voices!
I can't fault any of the performances, but what is key here is the music, the film featuring more than 85 pop songs ranging from the 40s right up to today's music. All classic and recognisable tracks apart from the couple originally written for the film, namely Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande's "Faith". There's actually moments of aww when hearing classic tracks from the recently departed Michael George, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.
There's plenty of laugh-out-moments, especially the auditions in quick fire succession and when Buster Moon finally gets his shirt off, yes, that's right, McConaughey's character gets his shirt off but to hilarious comedy effect.
On the whole, it's great fun, super catchy and doesn't feel like the 110min runtime. It's an underkoala story with great feels at the end, that reminded me a little of Stepping Out. It's a worthy watch for the whole family. I've put this higher than Illumination's Secret Life of Pets.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 0
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yeah.
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