Sonic the Hedgehog 2 may or may not be as good as the first film, but it’s still a charming installment to watch with the entire family. The film opens up roughly eight months after the first movie’s ending. In this time skip, Sonic has become a well-loved Wachowski household member. Jeff Fowler returns as director, with Ben Schwartz reprising his role as Sonic. We are introduced to a few new characters: Tails, Knuckles, and Randall. Colleen O’Shaughnessey voices Tails. O’Shaughnessey had a brief cameo at the end of the first film, but now she is much more involved in the story. In the games, Tails is Sonic’s best friend. Idris Elba voices Knuckles, a strong-willed soldier who is trying to avenge his people from his planet. Shemar Moore plays Randall. Randall is Rachel’s (Natasha Rothwell) fiancé.
Sonic 2 is about Sonic preventing Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and Knuckles from taking the Master Emerald that holds unspeakable power while making a new friend, Tails, on the way.
Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter), who play Sonic’s guardians, are on the back burner for most of the film. This was a blessing but also a curse. I loved the new characters and their personalities; however, the humans who interact with Sonic bring out the fun and keep us somewhat grounded. Humans alone drag the film and make it feel a little hallmarky. As for the Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails interactions, they were compelling to watch. The unfolding of Sonic and Tails’ friendship was realistic and adorable to watch unfold. It gave us an insight into who Sonic was as a friend of someone like him. The adults always treated him like a child, so it was interesting to see him in action with peers struggling with similar issues himself.
Jim Carrey reprises his role as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, aka Dr. Eggman. He was fantastic as always. He brings the fun and charisma, and in some parts, you feel all his other famous character’s doing a cameo, such as The Mask (1994) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). Just recently, Carrey has admitted that he will be retiring from acting. Sad as it is, Carrey seems to be content with his life. This will, however, affect Dr. Eggman’s fate. Could this be the last we see of this character, or will Carrey at least finish the franchise before resting? It is highly hinted that there will be a third film with the after-credit scenes giving us a sneak peek of what’s to come next in the series. So we will have to see then when the movie is put in production.
The side characters such as Wade (Adam Pally) and Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub) were fun comic relievers. Even though their scenes seemed like fillers, their characters are dimwits in a hilarious way. As for Rachel and Randall, they appeared out of place. The actors are charming, but it felt like time was wasted besides the plot twist between the two. If this movie were PG-13, it would be more interesting, but they put too much grown-up talk for kids since the film is stuck at PG.
I was a little concerned over the runtime of the movie. The first film is roughly an hour and a half, while the sequel is two hours long. It is shocking to see how long a kids’ movie can be captivating for the target audience. There were some parts where the pacing was off. The movie’s first ten minutes are a bit slow, relying heavily on Jim Carrey’s performance to transition us to the next act. With both Sonic 1 and 2 openings, they give us a sprinkle of action and some cheesy one-liners. It isn’t until Sonic first encounters Knuckle’s that things get interesting. The first battle was iconic in the trailer as it was on screen. Knuckles was powerful, badass, and intimidating.
The movie had a great message about becoming a hero when there needs to be one. Don’t insert yourself into trouble. Another recurring theme was family. Sonic is now a member of the Wachowskis and Tails and Knuckles, becoming friends or enemies. You don’t have to be blood-related to love unconditionally. That’s the beauty of Sonic films. It’s based on an action game, but somehow it transcended to something more dimensional. It’s a family movie in the end. Every person in the family will relate to something. Anything enjoyable for the kids and the adults is always a plus.
It’s an enjoyable film to watch, and if I were a kid, the score might even be higher. It’s filled with love, friendship, action, and a growing family. What’s not to like? The themes of family and growing up made a perfect film for kids to watch and learn from. There were a few flaws in pacing, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the enjoyment of an exceptional film. Mainly if it includes Jim Carrey, this might be the last time he plays Dr. Eggman, or perhaps, the last movie he ever makes, but it’s a great conclusion to his career. He wanted everyone to laugh and have a good time. He has thus succeeded in his acting career.