Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – When the manic Dr Robotnik returns to Earth with a new ally, Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic and his new friend Tails is all that stands in their way.

My Take – While video games adaptions continue to have a bad rap, two years ago, director Jeff Fowler and his team left everyone surprised by successfully bringing to life SEGA‘S much beloved blue colored manic hedgehog called Sonic on the big screen, that too in a decent film, despite the earlier controversy of the character’s creepy look which forced them back to the drawing board, and redesign a more game-accurate version of the character.

With its box office earnings collections pushing it to become the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America, a sequel was pretty much guaranteed.

Though expectedly bigger in every possible way, what’s more surprising is how director Jeff Fowler and writers Pat Casey, Josh Miller and John Whittington improve upon the first film and execute every element better and better each step of the way.

Incorporating additional elements from the games and sticking to more of an action-adventure plot, the sequel even fleshes out the world the earlier film only glimpsed at. Even the CGI characters get more of the spotlight than the human characters, the jokes land better and there’s just much more going on here that fans will recognize. With Tails and Knuckles added into the mix, the film also brings more character dynamic and banter to deliver on the entertainment quotient.

Sure, at times it does feel a little bloated, especially towards the end, yet, for the most part, it stays true to being a family film through and through, and remains focused on being as funny, charming, and heartfelt as its predecessor, and of course better.

Taking place several months after the events of the first film, the story once again follows Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwatrz), an extraterrestrial blue hedgehog, who is living the good life on Earth with the Wachowskis, Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter).

Yet can’t help himself from seeking adventurous and reckless heroic shenanigans, which end up causing more harm than help. While he is forced to house sit as Tom and Maddie whisk off to Hawaii for the wedding of the latter’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) to Randall (Shemar Moore), trouble finds him again in the form of Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik (Jim Carrey).

Who has returned from the Mushroom Planet with the help of Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba) to seek out the powerful Master Emerald, which will help them harbor power over the entire universe.

Luckily, Sonic finds a swift sidekick in super fan Miles “Tails” Prower (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey), a double-tailed fox, who readily joins the mission to protect the ancient relic from falling into evil hands. The foursome’s quest adventures ultimately land them in Hawaii, interlacing the worlds of the human characters and super-anthropomorphic creatures.

As far as video game films are concerned, this one is a fun follow-up that is able to recapture what made the original a success in the first place. If you liked the first film, then it stands to reason that you should like this one as well.

Here, director Jeff Fowler, expertly balance the thrills and frills with an emotive story line, fit for an entire family to enjoy in theaters. It isn’t afraid to be goofy fun if it wants to be but it also doesn’t shy away from serious moments whenever it feels necessary. Even the constant pop culture references are timed excellently, with most hitting spot on.

The family arc too between the Wachowskis and Sonic’s adventures is infused smartly, without feeling overtly preachy and not compromising on the video game elements and mythology, catering to fans and non-fans alike. The sequel feels more attuned to the Sonic lore than ever before, and fans of the games should have a great time seeing their favorite characters so lovingly recreated on the big screen.

Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are a ton of fun, and whenever the three anthropomorphic critters are on screen, it’s a blast, which bodes well for the future of this burgeoning cinematic franchise. Even Tails’ relationship with Sonic is an emotional highlight, too, and allows the hedgehog some admirable character development.

It also helps that they look so alike to their video game counterparts that it’s hard to imagine any fan finding fault. When Sonic and Knuckles go head-to-head, it really feels like the games brought to life.

Ironically for a film about a fast hedgehog, the film does feel a bit overlong towards the end, which means it could have done with a little bit of trimming. Nonetheless, the film stays true to its origins and delivers what it promises, a funny, well-made sequel with a phenomenal finale and a mid-credits scene that will get fans racing to see the next one.

Performance wise, Ben Schwartz does a great job playing up Sonic’s cocky attitude to full effect, adding even a sassier approach to beloved video game icon. Idris Elba is appropriately irritable and brutally strong as the voice of Knuckles. He brings a certain gravitas to the role, but also gets some of the funniest lines in the film as the hilariously self-serious echidna. It is also nice to hear Colleen O’Shaughnessey, who reprises her role as Tails from the video games.

James Marsden and Tika Sumpter have a lot little to do this time around, but remain likable nonetheless. Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally and Shemar Moore are alright too, but Lee Majdoub as Stone, Robotnik’s obsessive loyalist provides some laugh-out-loud moments.

However, not missing a step in his over the top, villainous antics is the always brilliant Jim Carrey. Carrey‘s performance was easily my favorite thing about the original film. I remember laughing out loud quite a lot at the over-the-top material the writers gave him to work with. It was almost as though the character has been personally tailored to make use of all his comedic talents.

This time, he bears a stronger resemblance to his video game counterpart, complete with a bald head and comically huge mustache, and like before he steals the show in virtually every scene he is in. On the whole, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ is a wildly entertaining sequel that surprisingly delights and manages to be vastly superior to its predecessor.

Directed –

Starring – Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, Jim Carrey

Rated – PG

Run Time – 122 minutes

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