Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is fun for moviegoers, great for fans

Think fast. The long-awaited sequel to the Sonic the Hedgehog movie has arrived. Once again directed by Jeff Fowler, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows from the first movie in which Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has just moved in with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter). Meanwhile, we see the return of Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) along with a new mysterious foe, Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) as they search for the Master Emerald. But Sonic also has a new partner of his own, boy genius Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), and together they take on forces unlike anything they’ve seen.

Now, I haven’t seen the first Sonic movie since the first time it came out and a lot has certainly changed since then. The most noticeable difference in these past couple of years, as one can obviously tell, is that I actually kind of appreciate it a bit more. It’s definitely janky in a few areas and has some weird nuances, like the way they awkwardly handle the product placement. But it’s at least confident enough of a movie that I can enjoy. That being said, I can easily tell you right now that this sequel blows the first one out of the water. If you’re here from the Morbius review, or at least the headline of the review anyway, stick around and you’ll see what I mean.

I personally feel the same about the main cast except for Jim Carrey. I think he’s starting to overdo it a little bit. That said, the new characters are what I want to highlight. Tails’ original voice actor, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, actually comes back and there really is no better voice than hers. Obviously, she’s been with the character for years at this point so that’s going to be a given. For newcomer voices, Idris Elba as Knuckles is such a wonderful addition to the cast. Not only is he one of the best actors right now, appearing in films like The Suicide Squad for example, but he definitely knows how to bring the meathead aspect to Knuckles’ character. Kind of reminds me of Starfire from Teen Titans if that makes sense.

Any average moviegoer who doesn’t really know Sonic can walk out of the movie going, “That was pretty good!” But as a Sonic fan myself who’s fairly knowledgeable about the series, I adored how much of a celebration it truly was.”

— Stavros Hatzopoulos

Any average moviegoer who doesn’t really know Sonic can walk out of the movie going, “That was pretty good!” But as a Sonic fan myself who’s fairly knowledgeable about the series, I adored how much of a celebration it truly was. They even had a few elements from Sonic Adventure 2! It’s clear that this was made by people who grew up with Sonic and I think the director even worked on a few games as well. But enough gamer talk. How does this fare on its own?

Like I said, it’s a great film! Though, a bit flawed. A lot of the human subplot where Tom and Maddie go to Hawaii is either really corny or just plain boring. I thought the way that they eventually fused that into the Sonic vs. Knuckles subplot made things much better. But the scenes where they just kind of hang out in Hawaii feel more like deleted scenes. The first 10-20 minutes especially felt too standard. I was worried that this film would tread the same ground that the first film did. There was even a slight increase in those corny one-liners that would usually drag down the best Marvel movies.

That’s about it for complaints. I love this movie. There’s a greater sense of urgency with the story yet it never takes itself too seriously. It sparks that nice balance that makes it a consistently enjoyable experience. Some of the character dynamics are great as well, like what they did with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. It’s just nice to see these characters interacting with one another. Tails kind of takes a bit of a backseat in terms of plot and character but it’s not like he has no purpose. He does actually have an effect on the story in a way. But I must repeat, Knuckles is the real star of the show. Not only is he one of the deepest characters in the whole film, but he’s also way too funny. Those moments where he’s absolutely confused by the little things add to the film’s charm.

This movie is rated PG and it’s certainly solid for a family film. Again, there’s a couple faults that make a good chunk of this film a slog, but I’m happy that this turned out as great as it did. Don’t expect the deepest film ever created. However, with the amount of added lore and stakes to the story, it’s certainly beefier than the last entry. It feels much more sincere to not just Sonic fans, but also moviegoers who haven’t really played the games all that much. 

Apparently, there will be a third Sonic movie as well as a Knuckles spinoff show on Paramount+ so you bet I’ll be there for next time. Never thought I’d say this, but I am so stoked to see the future of these Sonic movies. All they have to do is keep it up and maybe we’ll have the best series of video game adaptations in Hollywood.

Ohhhhhh…Sonic 3 and Knuckles. I just got it.

8/10