‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’: Bright, vibrant and energetic, and better than the previous edition (IANS Rating: ***)
By Troy Ribeiro
Movie: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ (Running in theaters)
Duration: 122 minutes
Director: Jeff Fowler
With: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Lee Majdoub; Voice cast: Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, Colleen O’Shaughnessey
IANS classification: ***
This live action-adventure film is a sequel to the movie released in 2020 – “Sonic the Hedgehog”. If those who saw the first edition felt that the previous edition was an oft-seen and outdated fare, then the sequel is much better than the first film.
The tale feels like a direct continuation of its predecessor. Here we follow the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog Sonic (Ben Schwartz), the iconic Sega video game character as he meets two of the other famous faces of the Tails video game franchise the two-tailed fox and the red echidna Knuckles ( voiced by Colleen O’ Shaughnessey and Idris Elba), except Knuckles is working with returning evil, mad scientist Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey).
After being banished to the Mushroom Planet, Dr. Robotnik returns to Earth with his new companion Knuckles. He again searches for Sonic, who, along with his new ally Tails, is on the hunt for the hidden mystical emerald that holds the “ultimate power to turn thoughts into reality”.
So, inadvertently, the movie turns into a scavenger hunt and villain showdown, which is fun to watch. There are plenty of familiar adventure tropes that will appeal to kids. The subplot about a destination wedding to Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), sister of Sonic’s surrogate Maddie (Tika Sumpter), in Hawaii seems included, just to give the humans something to do away from the action . It’s also stuff that would bore kids, but for their parents, it’s a nice reprieve from no CG and a chance for the furious Rothwell to steal the scene.
Additionally, what makes this edition appealing to fans of Sonic video games is that it leans much more into the game’s influences than the previous edition. There are a few witty lines in the form of recycled gags from other films and plenty more nods to a secret temple in Siberia that houses a compass for the emerald, giant spikes and a scene where Tails pilots a biplane as he fights with a king. Kong-sized robot.
The fixed action parts look almost ripped from games and are a bit over the top. The overall message of accountability and collaboration is simple and goes well with the narrative.
Overall, the movie is bright, vibrant, energetic, and delivers just the right amount of emotional quotient without feeling overdone.