REVIEW: ‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ Is A Supercharged Sequel For Everyone

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Sonic 2 - But Why Tho

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 takes all the best elements of the first film and amps them up to 11, thanks to the return of director Jeff Fowler and screenwriters Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (with new screenwriter John Whittington along for the ride.) Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has been living in Green Hills with Tom and Maddie Wachowski (James Marsden and Tika Sumpter) while also attempting to perform acts of heroism – which usually result in chaos.

When Tom and Maddie travel to Hawaii for the wedding of Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) Sonic is confronted by Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who has managed to return from his exile on the mushroom planet. However, Robotnik is accompanied by a new ally: Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba), who seeks the Master Emerald that his people were sworn to protect. With the help of his new friend Miles “Tails” Prower (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), Sonic embarks on a race to find the Master Emerald before Robotnik gets his hands on it.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog was a genuine surprise; I enjoyed it a great deal thanks to the performances of Schwartz and Carrey as well as the way it choose to ease into the Sonic mythos. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 chooses to barrel full-on into said mythos; both Sonic and Knuckles have an unexpected connection to each other as well as the Master Emerald, and elements from other Sonic games find their way into the narrative. Fowler, Casey, Miller, and Whittington have a clear love for all things Sonic, and they present it in a way that will please hardcore fans and won’t chase off newcomers.

Fowler also has a bigger budget this time around and constantly pushes himself with each action sequence. The opening sequence features Sonic stopping an armored truck robbery on the streets of Seattle and escalates to set pieces including Sonic outracing Knuckles and Robotnik’s drones on a snowy mountaintop. These set pieces not only make use of each character’s respective powers, including Sonic’s super-speed and Knuckles’ super-strength but they’re paced in a way that the two-hour runtime just flies by. And this time, there’s no offputting CGI – Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles feel like they stepped out of the SEGA console and into real life.

The trio also has some of the best performances in the film thanks to Schwartz, O’Shaughnessy, and Elba. Schwartz continues to infuse Sonic with a wit that’s as fast as his legs and a big beating heart – he’s essentially a teenager, and like most teenagers he’s trying to figure his life out. O’Shaughnessy has voiced Tails across various Sonic games, and she slips back into the two-tailed fox’s sleeves with ease; not only does Tails save the day with his inventions, but he and Sonic form a fast friendship that has some of the film’s most heartfelt moments – especially a conversation where Tails reveals the reason that he looks up to Sonic. Elba truly throws himself into the role of Knuckles, playing the Echidna as a powerful warrior with a mindset similar to Dave Bautista’s take on Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Personally I’m just happy that Elba is continuing his dive into genre fare following The Suicide Squad and The Harder They Fall.

The human characters are hit and miss. Carrey doesn’t leave an ounce of scenery unchewed, as his performance as Robotnik once again taps into the same demented energy that he brought to a string of hits in the ’90s. Marsden remains the straight man of the ensemble, as well as playing father figure to Sonic. But the film is never sure what to do with Sumpter and Rothwell – the Hawaii setting for Rachel’s wedding feels like, well, an excuse to shoot in Hawaii – and I would have loved to see more of Robotnik’s right hand man Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub).

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 supercharges the best parts of the first film while adding fan-favorite characters and diving deep into the lore of the video games. With a third film and a spinoff TV series for Knuckles in the works, the Blue Blur is one of the few video game characters who can hold down a successful film franchise. Sonic fans should definitely consider buying tickets if they haven’t already, and parents will have a nice option for family movie night.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 premieres nationwide in theaters on April 8, 2022.


Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 supercharges the best parts of the first film while adding fan-favorite characters and diving deep into the lore of the video games. With a third film and a spinoff TV series for Knuckles in the works, the Blue Blur is one of the few video game characters who can hold down a successful film franchise. Sonic fans should definitely consider buying tickets if they haven’t already, and parents will have a nice option for family movie night.

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