After the backlash that surrounded the first trailer, I don’t think anyone could have imagined the success Sonic The Hedgehog would have at the box office. While still criticized by some the first Sonic film was a hit, bringing in just under 320 million at the box office. With such great results, it’s no question why Paramount greenlit a sequel, one that’s just as good, if not better than its predecessor. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is bigger, better, and funnier.

Sonic 2 begins shortly after the events of the first film, continuing almost exactly where we left off. While the second film captures the fun and excitement of the first film, its story is really what makes them stand apart. While the first film focuses on Sonic’s adventure to find a real home, the second is all about what it means to be a hero, even coming to reference characters like Batman.

Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey) in Paramount's SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) in Paramount’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Runtime

The film also boasts a run time of just over two hours, and while I’ve seen other reviewers say it was too long, I disagree. While it was fairly close to reaching its limit, Sonic’s adventure feels just right. Not only does it give just enough time to give each character their proper introductions and re-introductions, all while setting up the third film. 

A-List Cast

Ben Schwartz returns to voice the super-speeded hedgehog and he does so outstandingly, call it a great script or just pure skill, but Schwartz’s portrayal makes it clear that he was born to play Sonic. Similarly, Colleen O’Shaughnessey voices Tails (probably my favorite character in the entire film) a character she has played before, this shows as Tails seems to fit seamlessly into the story while also creating a heart-warming story origin of his own. Idris Elba voices Knuckles though. Elba is a newcomer to the Sonic universe, though a welcome one.

I will admit that when the casting for Knuckles was first announced I was skeptical, but Elba really shines in this film, creating a dynamic between Sonic and himself that fans will die for. For the fur-less cast, we see the return of Jim Carrey(Dr. Robotnik ), Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski), and James Marsden (Tom Wachowski). Jim Carrey, who recently announced his retirement, was a star in this film, making for one of his best performances yet and surely a great way to end off a fantastic career. Tika and James take a step away from the spotlight in this film, definitely receiving less screen time, all while still managing to play a major part in the plot.

Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Paramount's SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Paramount’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Humans

While this is a film, of course, about Sonic The Hedgehog, I found myself searching for more human interaction in this film. In the first movie, Tom is shown as an obvious role model for Sonic, as a police officer. In the second film, this is dwelled upon a couple of times but I believe they missed a valuable opportunity by not allowing Sonic to train with the police (real-life heroes) for some time. The film could’ve been that much better had Sonic trained with the humans. Alas, it was not to be.

Animation

Although this film is littered with CGI, not once does it feel excessive, as Paramount has seemingly found the perfect form for the blue hedgehog. Sonic and his friends all seem to fit into the mix seamlessly, as there are very, few to no moments in the film where it was apparent the characters weren’t real. This really shows in the scenes with Knuckles, as he seems to have the most human interaction of all. There are a few scenes where it is apparent the whole shot was CGI, but that’s not to say those scenes were bad. With a Sonic Cinematic Universe on the way, it’s comforting to know the animation team has and will be on their A-game going forward.

Score

The soundtrack for Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is also to die for, with almost all of the songs having their moment to shine in the film, whether that be a fight scene or a comedic montage. With some of the biggest songs of the decade at its disposal, Sonic Team and Paramount did a fantastic job of incorporating music for both serious and comedic purposes. From the likes of Run-DMC to Bruno Mars, this movie will definitely have you leaving the theater waiting to throw on your playlist.

Robotnik (Jim Carrey) in Paramount's SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Robotnik (Jim Carrey) in Paramount’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Comedy

The humor in this movie is obviously, aimed at an adolescent audience. That is not to say the whole family will not get a laugh out of this film though. With Jim Carrey playing one of his most hilarious roles yet alongside Ben Schwartz, this movie is destined to have the whole family leaving the theater giggling. Pair this with our new additions (Tails and Knuckles), and this movie is nothing short of a hard-hitting comedic adventure for everyone to enjoy.

Easter Eggs

Fans of the series will be pleased to know that Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is littered with call-backs and easter eggs to previous entries in the franchise. It runs a plot that is overall slightly reminiscent of Sonic Boom while having its own differences as well. As for the video game call-backs… there are SO many. Keeping a close eye on certain scenes will be beneficial as there are many background items and images of familiar things and places.

Conclusion

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is a heartwarming, action-packed thriller, that brings the joy of the video games to the big screen. It’s a great family film, and an even better video game film. With the third iteration in the series on its way, I think it’s safe to say our furry friends aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 arrives exclusively in theaters on April 8.

Overall Grade: A

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