FoCC Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
By Scott C.
Warning: light spoilers below.
Sonic is the fastest blue hedgehog around, and he is back to fight the evil Dr. Robotnik once more with some assistance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
The film brings back stars Jim Carrey (Dr. Robotnik), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski), Lee Majdoub (Agent Stone), Natasha Rothwell (Rachel), and Ben Schwartz (voicing Sonic). But this time, we now have Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba) and Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey), who was last seen in a mid-credit scene in Sonic the Hedgehog. The second movie was directed by Jeff Fowler, who also did the same on the first film. Sonic the Hedgehog made $319.7 million globally.
I’m a big Sonic fan; I grew up playing the Sonic video games, and still do today, and read the comic books published by Archie Comics (still ongoing with IDW), watched a few Sonic shows when they were up, and got some collectibles. Two of my favorite Sonic Sega Genesis video games were Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (where the character Tails was first introduced) and Sonic & Knuckles (the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, that saw Knuckles joining the series). Both games were fun to play, so I could hardly wait to see what the new movie had in-store for Sonic, knowing that he would be sharing his screen time with two new characters and expanding the lore. Thankfully, this new movie did not disappoint in being enjoyable. Now, is it better than the first film? Could someone enjoy the sequel if they have not seen the first film?
At the beginning of this sequel, and seen in the trailers, Sonic is very comfortable living it up on Earth with his new family and being the Earth’s hero. But all of that comes to a sudden stop with the return of Dr. Robotnik, the introduction of Knuckles, and the Master Emerald plot line. Tails arrives to assist our blue friend during the madness, and the next Sonic adventure begins, with some elements taken right out of the video game franchise.
I must say that Jim Carrey was a delight once more with his over-the-top comedic acting. Right away, I saw that he having a blast being diabolical. Yet I do understand that Carrey’s comedic and goofy ways aren’t for everybody.
Knuckles was a hit, in my opinion, and should be, thanks to Idris Elba’s solid voicing performance. He was funny and cool, as Knuckles should be, which matches the comic books and video games very nicely. The special effects were also great at bringing our red character to life. Overall, I found the special effects well done in this movie and better than what the first film had presented.
The Sonic and Tails buddy relationship was a treat to see on the big screen. Tails was also adorable, with Colleen O’Shaughnessey doing a good job voicing Sonic’s friend. But I shouldn’t be surprised, since she has been voicing Tails since 2014.
Yes, Sonic felt like Sonic, which means that Ben Schwartz continues to do a fine job voicing the blue blur. Everything felt like it came (again) straight from the source material. So far, this movie franchise has been doing that just right and I know that fans deeply appreciate that.
However, I did wish that we had more of the grounded elements that made the first Sonic work so well. Yet like with any sequel that goes bigger in scale, things can be left behind. For instance, we got less screen time seeing Sonic and Tom interacting with each other as compared to the first film. I like the father and son relationship shown in the first film, and we got less of that in the sequel. Meanwhile, and perhaps being too picky, Dr. Robotnik’s tech also felt a bit more non-realistic this time out, and the gap between the two films was just a few months, so warranting such advancements does not make any sense, regardless of how smart Robotnik or Agent Stone are. But this is a Sonic movie. We have furry creatures walking and talking with humans. The Master Emerald and Sonic connections in the film were both solidly entertaining. The action overall was top-notch. Fans will enjoy the Sonic game Easter eggs, and the mid-credit scene will surely be something to die for, for a particular Sonic fan base.
As for the other humans not named Jim Carrey, I found no one to be wasted. Everyone acted well with what they were given, and I found a particular vacation side story to be hilarious. However, that side story sure interrupted the flow of the main storyline. Now, one could say that it did not need to be in the movie, as it did nothing to push the main storyline along. Regardless, all of the actors were all having fun from what I could tell, and that is one important element needed in making a good product, particularly one based on a video game and comic book.
Overall, the plotline, it did what it needed to do: giving us another “Sonic must save the day,” plot while also introducing us to a few new things. The story ended on a strong note, or rather, a ‘super’ one. The messaging of the movie is about friendship and family. As such, this movie is prefect for families to watch together. Yet, as with any family film nowadays, some of the jokes in Sonic 2 are cheesy. (Yes, there are fart jokes and a dance off.) That being said, the kids at my screening were having such a great time. After what they have likely been through lately, thanks to the pandemic, it was good to see their happy faces.
While the Sonic film isn’t perfect, it is enjoyable for fans of the franchise. I believe that this sequel is better than the first film and the best video games adaptations to have been released, as of this writing. I do think that viewers who have not seen the first film can find enjoyment too, as the sequel does enough explaining of what happened in the past. However, I recommend watching the first movie because you would be missing out on a good film. The second film, like the first, has a heart and soul; and it is charming and fun for all ages. The creators keep doing a superb job, and continue to show love to the Sonic source material. Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a must see; just don’t forget eat some chili dogs when you do!
That is it for now! Please join the conversation over on the FoCC forum! We want to know who are your favorite characters, and what did you like about the movie?