Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an exciting adventure that features super-action, humor and heart. Sonic and Tails become a legendary on-screen duo!
Sonic The Hedgehog was one of the last movies in 2020 to be a box office success and to not be affected by the still on-going pandemic that was about to emerge back then, even more importantly it was a massive success with children, families, and long-time fans of the classic videogames.
Fascinating as well is the fact that amongst so many other movies constantly shuffling and reshuffling release dates, the sequel was immediately announced after the original’s success and had a very smooth production for the past 2 years, and now it’s here, and it’s a big improvement on what came before.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees Sonic now settled in Green Hills, and eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.
As you can probably guess just from the synopsis, the sequel is diving deep into Sonic lore, expanding on the characters, their backstories and even featuring marvelously exciting locations that feel plucked directly from the games. One of the film’s biggest strengths is that is doesn’t shy away from exploring this lore and these interesting out-of-this-world locations that fit well with these over-the-top super powered beings from across the galaxy.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 gives way to a ton of exciting action sequences where we get to see our favorite hedgehog, fox and echidna showcasing their powers on screen — be it running a hidden cave full of traps, Indiana Jones style, or snowboarding down the mountains of Siberia as they run from an avalanche, or even flying a plane while fighting a giant robot. Of course, we do get to see brute force meeting pure speed when Knuckles and Sonic go at it mano-a-mano.
Speaking of which, Idris Elba’s Knuckles is undoubtedly the MVP of the film — being such a contrasting personality to Sonic, but also to Jim Carey’s Robotnik, whom the Echidna shares a ton of the screen time with. Carey’s Robotnik is better here, although I can’t personally say he still fully works as the character but rather as Jim Carey himself in a Sonic movie, it’s an overall improvement, much like the movie itself.
A big part of what makes the Carey and Elba rapport work is how Carey dials it up to a 20 with his wacky antics and physical humor, while Elba’s CGI creature that runs fast and has super strength is the more grounded personality of the two. While being allies they work as great foils for one another with their banter and miscommunication. Elba’s character also delivers a great parallel to Sonic himself, as both feel like they much fulfil this great purpose, which puts them in a direct collision course with one another, slowly revealing the similar tragic circumstances that placed both in their individual paths.
Ben Schwartz’s Sonic himself has so much more fun things to do in this film. Not only is he given narrative purpose, which allows his already goofy and loveable personality to shine even more, but we’re allowed to see more depth from him. Which also comes across when he meets his new ally Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) — the cutest furball made of pure innocence that comes in aid of Sonic to warn him about the existence of the Chaos Emerald. Tails is also a fan of the Hedgehog, having witnessed the events of the first movie from afar. Tails’ arc works much better in concept than it does in execution, but he’s the physical embodiment of the movie’s secret power: Heart.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 excels in action, adventure, and humor but what brings all of those together it’s the earnest amount of heart it has at its core. That heart clearly comes from director Jeff Fowler’s passion for these characters and the games. His passion is felt seeping through the screen whenever we’re allowed to be on the exciting adventure to find the Chaos Emerald. The third act and the extremely exciting mid-credits scene are proof enough of just how much freedom Fowler has here to just run wild and deliver jaw-dropping moments that will leave fans so happy.
Sadly, the film is still plagued by a ton of the issues that held the original back. Rest assured this is 70% a proper Sonic movie, as I stand by everything I’ve spoken up until now, but this is a tale of two movies: A Sonic movie that is exciting, and fun, and funny but then there’s this other movie getting in the way — with the Wachowski’s attending a wedding in Hawaii. The subplot is stretched too thin for too long and because of that it affects the overall pacing of the film. Unlike Sonic himself, it definitely starts to drag at a point, and that only makes things more jarring when it has to pick back up and shift to the adventure.
This wedding subplot doesn’t help the overall writing in the sense that it eventually converges with Sonic and Tails, but it does not make one iota of sense once you give it a momentary thought. Much like this seemingly random dance sequence inside an Inn with Sonic and Tails, this subplot does not affect the movie whatsoever, so it never feels earned how it comes together with the adventure we’re all there to see. Rather it feels like something that just had to be there because there was no other excuse the film had to be two hours long.
This movie can’t help it but be a kid’s film, which is understandable when adapting such a family friendly property. The studio will want it to be a four quadrant picture, but it could also be a *GOOD* kids movie that holds its entire narrative together — not showing clear passion for only 70% of it, while the rest feels both unnecessary and corporately mandated.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sadly suffers from quite a few of the issues as its predecessor, with a low quality family comedy wanting to get in the way of the movie we actually want to see; but its qualities far exceed the original. Diving deep into the lore creates for one exciting adventure that features super-action, humor, and heart. Knuckles is the MVP and will become a fan-favorite, while Sonic and Tails become one legendary on-screen duo.
FINAL GRADE: B-
About Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The world’s favorite blue hedgehog is back for a next-level adventure in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.
From the filmmakers behind The Fast and the Furious and Deadpool, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 stars James Marsden, Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Lee Majdoub and Jim Carrey returning, alongside new additions Shemar Moore, with Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles and Colleen O’Shaughnessey as the voice of Tails.
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Renato Vieira. 28.
Film Critic/Screenwriter from London UK
Masters Degree in Film Directing.
EIC of YouTube Channel “Ren Geekness”.