We blame “Sonic the Hedgehog” for giving us actual expectations for the sequel “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.” Prior to the release of the first film, we were absolutely convinced it was going to be a disaster. Our predicted best-case scenario was that it was going to be so bad it was good. We can fully admit when we are wrong. The first film was fun, funny, and had a surprising amount of heart. Given the success of the first, a sequel was inevitable.
Unfortunately, said sequel doesn’t quite live up to the first one. Perhaps it’s because our expectations for the first film were so low that we enjoyed it. We haven’t gone back and watched it since…Or perhaps because it was because it was one of the last films we saw in theaters before they shut down. Either way, we suddenly had expectations for “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”
This is not to say we had a bad time at the film. The first half feels stronger than the second. It is jarring to re-enter the energetic world of Sonic. Also you have to have seen the first for this one to make a modicum of sense. Just when we were about to be overwhelmed by the franticness, it slowed down, and showed us some of the sweet and well-meaning soul that lies at the core of the titular character. Then of course it went right back to mile-a-minute jokes.
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Reprising their roles are Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Lee Majdoub, and Ben Schwartz (as the voice of Sonic). They’re joined by Idris Elba voicing Knuckles and Colleen O’Shaughnessy voicing Tails. Carrey is of course a highlight as Dr. Robotnik. Anyone who grew up with him will be delighted to see him in fine form. Though we did think he was utilized better in the first film.
Knuckles and Tails are fine additions, the lore around their introduction gets a bit absurd (even for a movie based on a platformer). The second half of the movie feels more phoned in than the first. It feels like they had to cram in video game visual references and plot.
All in all if you were a fan of the first you’ll probably have a decent time at “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”. We just wish we had the same enthusiasm for it that we did the first.
Catch it in theaters everywhere now.