DFTG Reviews Sonic The Hedgehog 2: “Gotta Go Fast”
It’s hard to remember in the early days of 2020 before the pandemic began, but for that brief window before world-changing events, theaters saw one last shining moment in the sun before nightfall in the form of Sonic the Hedgehog. The live-action adaptation proved to be one of the few box office successes of 2020 and the highest-grossing video game movie adaptation ever. While the initial days of the pandemic delayed the greenlighting of a sequel, it was nonetheless confirmed months after its release. Two years later, the sequel is released and we here at Don’t Feed the Gamers have our Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review for you.
Directed by Jeff Fowler, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees the return of most of the cast from the first film. This includes Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, Tika Sumpter as Maddie Wachowski, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog. The film sees Carrey’s Robotnik return to Earth thanks to the help of Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba), who forms an alliance with Robotnik to seek out the Master Emerald and defeat Sonic. Thankfully, the arrival of Miles “Tails” Prower (voiced by original voice actor Colleen O’Shaughnessey) on Earth helps balance the playing field for Sonic. The film’s central themes of friendship and heroism are seen in these new alliances, with much of the plot progression focused on the budding friendship between Sonic and Tails, and the uneasy rapport between Knuckles, Robotnik, and his henchman Stone (with Lee Majdoub reprising the role).
With these teams on a hunt for the Emerald, the Wachowskis remain in a side plot in Hawaii, present at a wedding for Maddie’s sister Rachel (played by Natasha Rothwell). While this leaves the Wachowskis somewhat less essential to the plot compared to the first film, it does allow their family dynamic to be played out a bit more and gives them time to shine. While still fairly minor in the grand story, characters like Stone and Rachel get to have some scene-stealing moments that help add some humor that both adults and kids will laugh at. Many critics of the first film were irked by its tone of juvenile humor, and while the sequel has plenty of that, it has done a good job of balancing it out with more clever quips and mature jokes that may go over kids’ heads.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also makes a point to flesh out more of this iteration of the series’s lore and makes more direct references to the games that fans are sure to enjoy. While most are the central elements to the plot like new character inclusions and the Master Emerald McGuffin, the other references are largely throwaway lines or integrated in a way that doesn’t overly distract from the flow of the film. There is even more of a presence of CG-heavy environments and action sequences in this film, which, while helping add to the film’s production value, may disappoint mature audiences with their somewhat uninspired designs and implementations. I actually saw the film in a 4DX screening (which adds elements like amusement ride-style seat movements, water splashes, and fog machines) and it made the action scenes more riveting and immersive, but I can’t imagine I would’ve enjoyed them as much without those additional experience enhancers.
If you watched the first film and disliked the tone and humor, this one is still likely going to rub off on you the right way, though the sequel is a bit less obnoxious and more balanced in those regards. For those disappointed at the first film’s fairly minimal use of Sonic lore and elements, this one definitely improves with the fan appeal. While the sequel definitely feels like an improvement over the first, it isn’t THAT significant of a jump to convince those that disliked the original to give this one a try. Still, for those looking for some decently entertaining family-friendly fare or some high-budget Sonic fan-fun, this proved its welcome well enough. You gotta go fast to see this, but just be sure to proceed with caution.
7 out of 10 chili dogs for this one.
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Cory Lara2103 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.