Few would have predicted that Sonic the Hedgehog would become one of the biggest money makers of 2020, and there’s no greater reward than having a sequel to the delight of gaming fanboys around the world.
Starting right where the previous movie ended, the sequel sees the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carey) make his return to Earth after being cast away into a shit-oki place – heh, Mushroom Planet – for what Sonic (Ben Schwartz) hoped would be years and years of isolation. Of course, it’s the mad genius of Dr. Robotnik at play here, but he has not returned alone, as he has the help of yet another powerful alien-animal, Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba), who for his own reasons, is out to get Sonic too.
Meanwhile, our little blue devil is busy attempting to be a vigilante, stopping crimes and saving lives (quite terribly we might add) and living his life as a rebellious kid on Earth, protected by Tom aka Doughnut Lord (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter), who have assumed the parental role as they try to teach him to be responsible, nagging over and over again that his time to be a hero will come when he’s ready. After Sonic successfully saved the planet, it’s more of a rebellious child with the I’m-not-your-child relationship, mixed with the great power comes with great responsibility spiel that falls on deaf ears.
If the first movie is your usual origin story, the sequel is set up as Sonic’s coming of age tale. Now that we’re done with adapting the popular SEGA mascot and introducing him to new viewers, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees more character development as our speedster journeys on a dangerous mission against Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik, and most scarily, needs to grow up. Not surprisingly, it involves learning more about his past and what this amount of power means to him and his enemies in the galaxy.
The sequel also has more elements from the games that fans have been eagerly waiting to see, including the teased-before appearance of Sonic’s stalwart partner, the two-tailed fox Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, much like Luigi is to Mario, now brought to life by Colleen O’Shaughnessey. Fans will also see more of Sonic’s portal rings being used this time around, and there’s no escaping the joy each time the rings get used, and the familiar dings come on.
Because the focus is more on the video game characters, the humans take a backseat so Marsden and Sumpter both play smaller roles compared to the first film. This also allows the film to leave the small town and go global, as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik embark on a globe-trotting adventure to chase after a secret treasure, running from the sandy white beaches of Hawaii, to the mountains of white snow in Serbia, and a magical island full of booby traps.
Carey still carries (heh) a big part of the movie with his zany portrayal of Dr. Robotnik if you enjoyed his slightly unhinged take on the mad scientist, you’ll feel right at home here. Carey continues to crack puns and jokes, and breaks out into a little silly dance every now and then, but make no mistake – Robotnik is a lot more evil in this film as he’s not only after Sonic, but also Knuckles, his supposed partner in crime, as well. Sonic 2’s humour banks a lot on puns and Internet culture jokes that both kids and adults can understand and laugh along to, most of which are delivered by Carey and Schwartz.
Newcomers Elba and O’Shaughnessey are entertaining, with Elba taking a solemn and serious approach to Knuckles whilst O’Shaughnessey is adorable as Tails for the whole two-hour runtime. Although famously known as Sonic’s ally in the games, Knuckles is now a formidable foe, while Tails remains a trusty sidekick that can help Sonic get out of trouble and escape.
That said, friendship and loyalty are also some running themes throughout the movie, as viewers learn a little bit about the three anthropomorphic creatures, and how Tails and Knuckles are connected to Sonic. Their individual relationships with Sonic also shift and evolve throughout the movie, and is heartwarming to watch.
Of course, it goes without saying that Sonic 2 is a film that skews towards the little ones, so it’s not something the average adult may run to the cinemas to catch unless nostalgia calls. Thankfully, Paramount has managed to escape the curse of bad video game movie adaptations and with a post-credit scene that hints at a third movie, we can’t wait to see Knuckles, Tails and Sonic take down the next villain together.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 expands on the hit video game series by SEGA, with the introduction of beloved characters and even bigger, much more exciting adventure.
Story - 6/10
Direction - 6/10
Characterisation - 7.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 7/10