Rewind to March 2020, when lockdowns were starting to be in place, many of us were starting to re-invent our hobbies and we all took to new things to do. I’m sure, like myself, many of us watched Sonic The Hedgehog a few times. It was one of those movies that got an earlier digital release and as such, it got a nice healthy viewing cycle.
Cut forward two years later and the sequel is finally upon us. I wondered if my fondness of Sonic was partially due to the limitations of the pandemic, or if it was a legitimately good movie. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was the test, the test to see if the adventures of Sonic could work again and entertain us all the same; and the short answer is, it can.
More Of The Same
When sequels offer up the usual formula in movies, it tends to come across as tiring. The setup for this sequel is that Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are headed to see Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) get married. They leave Sonic alone where he is attacked by a returning Jim Carrey as Robotnik, who has allied with Idris Elba‘s Knuckles to take down the blue Hedgehog. He’s saved and later allies with Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey). Together they race to find the Master Emerald before Robotnik and Knuckles.
The first half of this movie felt similar to the first movie. Where in the first movie, Tom and Sonic become friends, in this it’s Tails and Sonic. It felt a bit redundant. I guess I was ok if Sonic and Tails were just good friends right off the bat but they spent a lot of time building up their friendship. It felt unnecessary at times and despite an epic dance battle that was soundtracked by “Uptown Funk”, didn’t really add much to the story.
Plot Conveniences and Epic Battles
There were some weird plot conveniences that really stretched logic such as the movie’s MacGuffin being within visual distance of the island the wedding is taking place on, or the wedding being a cover-up for something else. It’s conveniences that are a bit too convenient.
At a certain point, Sonic and Tails end up at the wedding, and this is where things improved greatly. The action got more vibrant and grand, and dare I say, reached No Way Home or Endgame levels. There are some amazing reveals and some great action that had the theatre roaring and cheering. If you’re a Sonic fan, there’s a lot here that you’ll appreciate and enjoy.
Many of the performances in the film are excellent, but in particular, I found Idris Elba’s Knuckles to be the best performance of the film. His humor as Knuckles leads to some funny lines and bits. Although Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Robotnik were also great performances as well.
This is notable too as the film has less of a focus on the human characters, which worked for me. Luckily Robotnik and the animated creatures work as well as they do.
While the first act is a bit too similar to the first film, the film rallies towards a thrilling conclusion. There are a lot of great moments in this and a great tease for the upcoming third film and beyond. By the end of the movie, I was thoroughly excited for the future of this franchise and we have both a series and a movie coming.
The inevitable question is: is this better than the first film. In some ways, yes. The last half of the film was a lot stronger than anything in the first film. That said, the first half was a bit slower, and while cute and endearing, it wasn’t nearly as strong as it could’ve been.
Still, if you’re a Sonic fan, this is an enjoyable watch and if you aren’t it’s still a fun film even if some of the references are lost. I’ve already bought tickets to see the movie again for that 3rd act alone and I’m already wanting more Knuckles. While Sonic The Hedgehog 3 is going to be taking things in an interesting direction, I’m more than excited to see where it and Sonic go next. Proving that Sonic’s initial success is not a flash in the pan.
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