Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Review


The family fun filled feature film has been a staple of moviemaking for decades now, but the eternal prevalence of CGI-crafted characters created a whole new sub-genre around the mid-2000s. Taking well-received or classic cartoonish characters, turning them into CGI-eyesores, and plopping them into a fully real environment was almost a yearly tradition. In many ways, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows that tradition, complete with a cast of human characters that no one cares about, and a heap of really childish jokes and quips along the way. 

Picking up where the first film left off, Sonic, voiced once again by Ben Schwartz,  is settling into his new domestic life while moonlighting as a vigilante in the nearby city. He’s still mostly a kid who enjoys the same stuff most kids do, including when his surrogate parents leave for vacation for a weekend and he gets the house to himself. But being that this is an action movie, nothing can truly stay calm, and the return of Dr. Robotnik and the newly introduced Knuckles, played by Jim Carrey and Idris Elba respectively, threaten to upheave everything that Sonic knows and loves. 

As easy as it would be to pick apart the plot lines of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the sequel has clearly learned some lessons from its predecessor. There is a lot less of the human element this time, with a majority of the scenes focus on the interactions between the two furry heroes in Sonic and Tails, and the villains of Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik (who is human, but the performance often makes you forget it). 

But what really sets this entry apart is the leaning into its video game influences more. There are certainly less questionable recycled gags, and more temples, spikes and general adventuring to go around. Nothing beats a scene of Sonic and Tails taking on a giant robot in the film’s finale for your big video game film. 

Essentially, anyone going into this film must understand that its target audience if for those of the younger generation that loved the first film and generally want more of the same.  The jokes are a little less cringy and recycled, and the Jim Carrey craziness and improvisation is clearly toned down, but the core of what this franchise is remains the same: childish humor and bright colorful visuals that emulate the video games that so many have loved over the years. The results of which are woefully okay at best. 

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