Does the inevitable sequel to one of 2020‘s surprise box office hits live up to the hype? Find out in our review of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 down below:
Sonic The Hedgehog was a surprise box office hit in the year 2020. The film hit theatres around one month before the pandemic really hit and went on to gain a successful box office run as well as a successful live on VOD, when the first lockdown arrived. It was only a matter of time when the inevitable sequel would be announced, but it took many people by surprise how soon it would arrive.
Now, a bit over 2 years later, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is about to hit theatres and it improved nearly every aspect of its predecessor.
Sonic 2 Burns Bright And Quick
Sonic is living the hero life as the blue eagle sneaks out every night to fight crime, to the dismiss of his friend Tom (James Marsden). When Tom and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are invited to a wedding on Hawaii, Sonic has the home for himself. But when he gets attacked by Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who found a new companion in the echidna warrior Knuckles (Idris Elba), Sonic and his new found friend Tails have to go on an adventure to find the powerful Emerald Crystal before the evil duo.
Sonic The Hedgehog was a fun, smaller scale road trip film, while Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is quite the opposite. It’s a full blown adventure taking place all over the world, the action is way bigger and faster and the scale has been increased by what feels like 100%. From the first minute you know exactly that Paramount Pictures is fully behind their Sonic Universe as they definitely amped up the budget by quite a bit. Not to mention the already announced threequel Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and a Knuckles spin-off series for their streaming service Paramount+.
Speaking of Knuckles, one of two new characters from the Sonic universe, is one of the highlights of the sequel. Idris Elba is the voice for the red echidna and his chemistry with Jim Carrey’s devilishly evil Dr Robotnik makes for some fun scenes. Elba makes the character badass, but funny at the same time. Another newcomer, who was teased in the original film’s post-credits scene, is Tails. He is voiced by Collen O’Shanussy and she makes this character very sincere and cute.
There is no way not to like the two newcomers, as their dynamic with Ben Schwartz’s Sonic, who delivers just as good of a performance as in the first one, is what fans have been craving for and makes the sequel already superior.
Jim Carrey is back as Dr. Robotnik and better than ever. He is even more over the top, even more evil and more committed. Just like in the first one he is a scene stealer in every sense of the word. And I won’t forget Lee Majdoub, who simply makes the best latte there is and his “He’s back” line and performance feels very much in the veins of Jim Carrey. A hilarious duo.
Jeff Fowler, who directed both “Sonicverse” entries” also stepped up his game. You feel that he learned a lot in the first one and improved weaknesses. He also does have some nice visuals sprinkled in here and there. It was definitely the right call to get cinematographer Brandon Trost (The Disaster Artist) involved.
While Sonic The Hedgehog 2 improves nearly everything of its predecessor, it keeps one major issue: the screenplay. The fact that Sonic’s powers could theoretically resolve the plot in like a few minutes left aside, as otherwise we wouldn’t have a film. Just like in the first one, the plot feels extremely forced, this leads to the film becoming very predictable and a handful of scenes don’t land as they just don’t feel naturally integrated in the story.
As the films scale went bigger the screenplay also had to juggle more characters and failed. James Marsden, who was basically the co-lead in the original gets nothing to do, but still is able to bring a lot of charm to the film. It is ok in the context, that we want to see more of the “Sonicverse” characters, but even Tails and Knuckles don’t get enough characterization, as the film has to include a 20 minutes side plot with Maddie and Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), which felt like a completely different movie and killed the film’s pacing.
There surely had to be better ways to incorporate all these characters in one big story. And while the VFX work on the actual characters has been improved, there is some uneven green screen work sprinkled throughout the film, that always caught my eye.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is definitely a step up from the first film and delivers families and fans a fun, action packed adventure with great new characters, who sadly come too short. Jim Carrey is great as ever and the film leaves you wanting more, but hopefully more focused next time.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 speeds into theatres April 8, 2022.
The film is directed by Jeff Fowler and stars: Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, James Marsden, Collen O’Shanussy, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Lee Majdoub and Jim Carrey.
What do you guys think? Are you excited for the sequel? Did you like the first one? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our social media.