‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ Is An Epic Experience That Fans Of The Franchise Will Love – Review
The Blue Blur is back and bluer than ever!
It’s crazy to think that the first sonic movie hit theaters around the time the world was about to deal with a global pandemic. Fast forward two years later, and although we are still fighting it, we are in a much much better place and the sequel is here. As a fan of the first Sonic, this movie took every element that I loved from the first film and multiplied it by 10. Outside of the film franchise, I’ve always been a big fan of the blue speedster, and I can easily say that this film truly felt like a love letter to all of Sonic’s history throughout the years.
After settling in Green Hills and finding a home with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter), Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is more confident in his powers and eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns with the help of a new partner, Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba). The pair are in search of an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey) and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.
The original movie was more of a road trip adventure between Sonic and Tom, and more of a way to establish the rules and the world before really taking things up a notch. I thought the first film did a great job of setting up the perfect hero’s journey for Sonic to go through, and, by the end Sonic is ready to take on the world. In this second installment, the story does an amazing job of really developing Sonic as a character and this is a compliment to what Schwartz delivers as the voice of the character. You’re able to root for and empathize with Sonic because of the real emotions in his voice.
In this film, Sonic isn’t alone anymore, he has his classic friend Tails who was teased at the end of the first movie. Tails was a fantastic addition to the story. O’Shaughnessey nails it by bringing the two-tailed fox from the games and cartoons to the big screen. Audiences get to see the friendship between Tails and Sonice from the beginning and can see them grow as they go on their journey. On a side-note, it has also been a pleasure seeing O’Shaughnessy’s journey leading up to the film since the announcement that she would be reprising her role of voicing Tails. It’s pretty rare for a voice actor to get the love she is getting and she absolutely deserves it.
Tails isn’t the only one who joins the adventure because we cannot forget about Knuckles. After watching the film, I completely understand why a Knuckles spin-off series was given the green light before the sequel even debuted. Elba absolutely crushes it as Knuckles. Usually when actors voice animated characters, it typically just sounds like a slightly heightened version of themselves. But with Elba, he completely transforms into the role. At certain points, you forget it’s him voicing the character and I mean that in the best of ways. The epic rivalry between Knuckles and Sonic brought some of the best moments of the film and I really enjoyed the fish-out-of-water story they told with Knuckles. Although Knuckles is the ultimate threat to Sonic, they do give him moments of humor and those moments hit. I’d like to compare Knuckles to a more agile version of Drax who can adapt to earthly customs a lot quicker. There is so much lore around Knuckles and the echidnas as a whole, so I’m excited to see what they dive into for the series.
This time around, Carrey is even more unhinged as the Robotnik. Viewers didn’t see Carrey start to embrace the Robotnik moniker until the credit scene from the first film, so seeing him go all out in this one was an absolute delight. You know Carrey doesn’t usually do sequel, so you can tell he loves the character and gives it his all. His faithful sidekick Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub) is back in all his glory. The banter between Stone and Robotnik is just as funny as the first film and Majdoub is hilarious in the role. I’m glad Majdoub’s fan favorite character got an expanded role for this second movie.
Of course, Sonic’s extended family is also back. One thing that I appreciate about the humans in this Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is how grounded they keep Sonic. Tika Sumpter and James Marsden have great chemistry again as Tom and Maddie, and it was a blast to see how much they’ve grown to love Sonic. There are some emotional moments with the Wachowski family that I think fans will surely love. As always, Natasha Rothwell is a scene stealer. Rothwell is straight comedy when it comes to her performance in Sonic 2 and she is given more to do, especially with the story arc revolving around her wedding to Shemar Moore’s character.
Director Jeff Fowler’s experience in visual effects work is fully displayed in the cinematography of Sonic The Hedgehog 2. There were so many set pieces that made this feel like a true action blockbuster movie and it was incredible to behold. I would have never expected the Sonic film franchise to be so visually pleasing, especially with all of the amazing action sequences. When I was watching the film on the big screen, there were so many moments from beginning to end that put the biggest smile on my face. Seeing Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles all on the big screen was something I will never forget. I got goosebumps multiple times (especially during the third act). Fowler understands the characters and knows how to highlight their powers in unique ways. If I’m being honest with myself, I would call it peak cinema.
When adapting video game storylines, sometimes studios tend to lean away from some of the fantastical elements to make it more grounded for a general audience. With the Sonic franchise and with this movie in particular, Fowler fully leans into the roots of the video game and the movie is better for it. One could say it’s “fan service” but to me, it felt like the team behind these movies are fans of the game and wanted to make a movie they would enjoy themselves and that’s exactly what this film is.
Paramount has a hit on their hand with this franchise and I hope we get 10 more movies and a bunch of spin-offs. This movie delivered everything a Sonic fan could ask for and then some. Fans of the franchise and casual viewers alike will have a great time watching Sonic The Hedgehog 2.