Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review
When I saw the first trailer to the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, I cringed. The entire Internet cringed. Thanks to that, we got Paramount to fix what would’ve been a horrible mistake with Sonic’s appearance. As a result, Paramount fixed their mistake, and we got what was, until then, the best video game movie ever made. Granted, the bar for that was already set pretty low, but it did beg the question. Could Hollywood finally do movies based on video games right? Two years (and one Pandemic) later, Sonic’s back with his new movie, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but could it follow in the first film’s success?
To make a long story short, yes. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one giant leap for video game movies.
Loosely based on the video game of the same name while combining elements from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, the film’s far more dense when compared to the first film. Whereas the original movie let Paramount test the waters of the Sonic franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has them dive right in. Having found a new family in the people of Green Hills, Montana, Sonic’s life gets turned upside down. Dr. Robotnik returns from his exile, and he’s got a bone to pick with Sonic with Knuckles in tow. Things get even crazier when Tails shows up, and from there, it’s just pure fanservice from start to finish.
While some people might be turned off by all the references to the video games, the film knows who it’s for. There are plenty of fans of the classic Sonic games who will go giddy over the many references found in the film. The lore, the setting, the poses, it’s all there, in its purest form. The film serves as a reminder of what Sonic can be like without all the baggage, and does the games a lot of justice.
Knuckles is Finally Cool Again
One of the best things that the film could hope to do was return one of the franchise favorite’s to his roots. We’re talking about none other than Knuckles the Echidna. When first introduced as a rival, then friend, to Sonic, everyone loved Knuckles. He was cool, serious, and an all-around badass. However, as the years went by, mishandling by Sega led him to become seen as a dumb jock rather than a proud warrior. Then, came Ugandan Knuckles.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 wipes away all the grime that’s accumulated on Knuckles and reminded us just why fans loved him in the first play. Played to perfection by Idris Elba (who’s also a fan of the games), movie Knuckles is every bit the badass we knew as kids. The film even does him one better by giving him a tragic backstory that will tug at fan’s heartstrings. The film more than does the longtime ally to Sonic justice; it saves him.
Farewell, Jim Carrey?
While many of the actor’s brought their A-Game in the movie, the big standout for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. In recent years, the famed actor seemed to have hit a wall in regards to his career. There were long periods where we rarely saw him on the big screen anymore. Then came the first Sonic movie. It was the best thing that could’ve happened to Jim. Taking to the role with a level of energy not seen since his 90s films, the famous actor excelled as Dr. Eggman.
The sequel film takes everything that Carrey did good with Eggman, and cranks it up to 11. Now fully embracing his role as the mad scientist, Jim plays Robotnik for everything he’s got. He’s sillier than ever, giving us plenty of gut-busting moments, but it’s that same goofiness that also makes him so threatening a villain. The Sonic films cement Dr. Eggman as one of Jim Carrey’s best roles of all time. However, this only makes it harder to know that it may also be his last.
In the weeks leading up to the movie’s premiere, Jim revealed that he’s considering retiring from acting. He wants to step away from Hollywood and focus on his own life. Or, as he puts it, he wants to get out before he does something stupid. This means that his role in Sonic 2 will likely be his swan song. While this might be disappointing for some, I think it might be a good idea. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of his best films ever, and if he wants to quit, he might as well do it on a high note. If we’re lucky, though, we may see him again in the future.
The New Best Video Game Movie
This film is not perfect. There are some pacing problems to be found, and several scenes that could be cut out altogether. However, despite this, I still think that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 more than lives up to the hype Paramount’s given it. If you’re a fan of Sonic, then I recommend you go see it. If you want to see a good video game movie, then go see it. This is clearly a step in the right direction, and should be recognized as such.