The Sonic Cinematic Universe looks like the most successful outing the franchise has seen in a long time over its bumpy lifespan. Many aging generations long to play as a super-fast blue hero on 8-bit obstacle courses, but in the gaming world, it’s no secret that throughout the 2000s, the Sonic games have had their fair share of stumbles. Although the first Sonic The film had its own hurdles (let’s not forget the incredible horror spectacle that was Sonic’s original conception) and received mixed reviews, it was a financial success and seems to have sparked renewed interest in the hedgehog chili eater, unless on the big screen.
sonic the hedgehog 2, rightly, attempts to create an adventure more suited to the games’ varied worlds and characters. While the first movie stuck a character known for running very fast in a car for half the time, Sonic (Schwartz) has a little more room here to stretch his legs. Director Jeff Fowler returns to announce the introduction of Tails (O’Shaughnessey, who has been the video game voice of Tails since 2014) as Sonic’s new sidekick: together they must stop the return of Dr. Robotnik (Carrey) and his. new sidekick, Knuckles (Elba), to reach the hidden powerful Master Emerald.
It’s all nonsense that in some ways lends itself to a more maniacally inspired experience than the initial outing, but in other cases it’s still held back by the generic kids movies. One thing it has is a solid voice cast and impressive rendering of CGI characters in real world environments. While I still think dropping Sonic and his friends down to Earth to hang out with James Marsden is one of the dullest approaches you can take to all the potential material out there, the visual effects are well done, even if the overall visual sense of the film is forgettable. Schwartz, Elba and O’Shaughnessey are also, thankfully, talented enough to overcome a lack of personality in writing. Carrey, too, is having fun and bringing his typical physique and expressiveness to a Dr. Robotnik who, in an improvement from his first appearance, now has his bald head and overzealous mustache.
The things that haven’t improved are the broad and repetitive pop culture references and the boring subplots to bloat the running time, in this case for a movie that doesn’t need to be bloated because the final product lasts 122 tedious minutes. Everyone must have loved Sonic doing the wire dance before, so they let Carrey do it here. But don’t worry, you’ll see Sonic dancing himself as he and Tails team up for a dance battle to “Uptown Funk,” everyone’s favorite song of 2022. There’s plenty of time for a subplot. about Marsden and Tika Sumpter attending a wedding in Hawaii – really making the most of everything possible with the Sonic franchise.
That said, Sonic 2, also just like its predecessor, mostly occupies the space of being a largely innocuous children’s fodder vessel with enough content for adults to make the experience not completely mind-numbing. It’s colorful, there’s a few laughs, and it’s a great solution for any parent who wants their child to sit still for, I repeat, two full hours. It just feels like Sonic and company owe a little more than just being tolerable.