Who knew that 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog would turn out to be one of the best video game movies out there? Even better was how fans had a say in its original horrible CG Sonic design that was quickly corrected and finally showed Hollywood who has the real power over films. Now the blue blur is back in the awaited Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with more action and comedy than ever, but sadly at the expense of bad pacing and going too fast for longer than it should.
It’s nice to see some video game films that stay true to their source material for a change as we’re still getting used to that thanks to some so-so ones still floating around (I’m looking at you Uncharted). Picking up right where the first adventure ended, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is stuck on a mushroom planet and trying to find a way off. He finally succeeds in getting back to Earth with the help of Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) who’s looking for the legendary master emerald and thinks Sonic knows where it is.
Meanwhile we have Sonic (Ben Schwartz) trying to use his speed powers to help others, which turns out to be a disaster and makes trouble for his Earthly guardians Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter). While the two of them go to Maddie’s sister’s wedding, Sonic is left to watch the house and of course goes wild.
It doesn’t take long for Robotnik and Knuckles show up and cause trouble for our blue hero, but thankfully he has a new friend named Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey from the Sonic games) who also joins in on the action and helps Sonic escape. The two join forces to find the emerald before the baddies do, and they have one crazy and often comedic adventure after another doing so.
That’s the gist of the film without spoiling anything as there’s some fun surprises and emotional tidbits I dare not give away. For the most part, I had a good time with the film as it’s always fun and funny while having plenty of Sonic action and adventure that the games are known for. A lot of the scenes are pulled right out of them such as Tails flying an old airplane, Sonic surfing down a snowy mountain, and more.
I also enjoyed the fights between Sonic and Knuckles as they slowly realize they might be on the same side. There’s also some bad to go with the good such as pacing issues and a lot of subplots that really didn’t need to be in the film or could’ve been shortened to keep a tighter pace. I won’t go into them much, but the main one is the wedding subplot with Maddie’s sister that makes the movie devolve into a bad rom-com that just goes wrong on so many levels.
If they had trimmed this bit some, it might not have been so bad. But sadly it goes on way longer than it should with a few bad jokes and gags thrown in for good (or should I say bad?) measure. Thankfully once you’ve passed that big bump in the road, it’s fairly smooth racing as the film delivers a fun conclusion that also has some nice surprises for those who stick around for the mid-credits.
So if you’re fan of the games and/or enjoyed the first film, you’ll want to lace up your speed shoes and check out Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While it has some slowdown in the pacing here and there while also running a bit longer than it needs to, it manages to pick up speed and delivers a fun and action-packed ride that proves good video game movies do exist.