“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a worthy sequel to one of the best video game movies of all time that is faithful to the model, good-looking and sometimes exciting. However, the problems from the predecessor follow, such as flat jokes and boring people.
When “Sonic the Hedgehog” had its cinema premiere in 2022, many were pleasantly surprised that the film was actually a fairly well-made and entertaining family adventure, both considering how rarely it happens that films based on video games work and after the whole failure about how the main character was supposed to look like in an earlier version.
With the sequel, director Jeff Fowler delivers another entertaining family film with extra everything in the form of more references to the games, cooler action sequences and even more jokes – which do not always hit quite right.
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After the events of the first film, Sonic wants to prove that he has what it takes to become a real hero, which he after a few less successful attempts gets a chance to do when Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) returns to get hold of a magical emerald with incomparable powers. This time, the villain is also helped by the vengeful anteater Knuckles, played by none other than Idris Elba (“The Suicide Squad”). However, Sonic is not alone either, but gets help from the flying fox Tails.
The plot does its job and fits well with its model, but is just like its predecessor quite predictable. In the last act, it’s just ticking off all the clichés at a furious pace, but despite that, I’m entertained. Sonic is admittedly at least as annoying as in the first film, with unbridled jokes and farce jokes – but there is a certain charm, much thanks to Ben Schwartz’s (“Parks & Recreations”, “The Afterparty”) voice acting. Jim Carrey once again gets to play over with crazy faces, quirky lines and a wild body language like Dr. Robotics, although it may be a bit of a repetition.
Idris Elba also does a brilliant job as the new addition Knuckles, which feels clichédly evil written with lavish lines delivered with his iconic dark voice. It’s in the dialogue between him, Sonic and Dr. Robotics as the script is the best and also the one that offers the coolest special effects and action scenes. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a pretty much cooler movie than its predecessor, with nice clashes between Sonic and the Knuckles and other breathtaking action scenes.
While Sonic and Tails try to get hold of the emerald before the villains, however, the people Tom and Maddie (James Marsden and Tim Sumpter) are at a wedding in Hawaii, which of course must not go wrong. This is where the film is at its weakest, as the human characters honestly feel a bit unnecessary and most things just get pie-like, especially when they interact with the cartoon characters. James Marsden plays as sad as ever and other roles simply do their job. The only one who stands out among the non-computer-animated characters is Natascha Rothwell (known from “White Lotus” and various voice roles), who plays Maddie’s sister who is getting married. She honestly delivers some of the film’s funniest scenes, which do not really have much to do with the overall story.
In the end, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is an entertaining blockbuster that fans of the character and the previous film will appreciate – and perhaps especially the younger audience. There are a lot of nice winks to the games that make me lift my lips, cool scenes and sometimes accurate humor. Basically, there is a nice message about friendship and that nothing is written in stone, even if it can be a bit cliché.