Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 charms, entertains, and will have you leaving the theater with a big smile on your face

The first ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ movie was an enjoyable family affair. With terrific CGI animation, a witty script, and a classic performance from Jim Carrey, the film was a delight. The ending to that film left plenty of room open for a sequel. With the mid-credits appearance of Tails, we had a feeling where a potential sequel might go. But what we didn’t realize was how much fun the sequel would have. From the second the film starts, ‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ is a riot. It starts with some great comic acting from Jim Carrey once again before ending with a crowd-pleasing finale. All is here for what could be the family film of the year. Thrills, spills, laugh-out-loud moments, and some comedy that will bypass the little ones but will earn some laughs from the parents. What more could you ask for?

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2

The film opens on the mushroom planet. Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is still marooned there, after the climax of the first film. He is trying to create coffee with the fungi that make up the planet. Despite his best and often hilarious attempts, he fails. He is also attempting to create a machine from the remnants of his crashed craft into a beacon. He plans to lure somebody to the planet so he can escape back to Earth. His plan is somewhat of a success. But he also manages to bring an Echidna through the portal too. The Echidna, Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba) isn’t too impressed. However, when he notices a quill that Robotnik has of Sonic’s, he demands to know where he got it from.

Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

SONIC

Sonic himself (once again voiced by Ben Schwartz) is desperate to make his mark in the world. Christening himself ‘Blue Justice’, he sneaks out from his home every night to be a supersonic crimefighter. His attempts are starting to attract the attention of the media in all the wrong ways, something Sonic can’t understand. His adopted father Tom (James Marsden) takes Sonic on a fishing trip. While there, he tries to speak with his adopted hedgehog son, only to find Sonic is fast asleep. His nightly exploits have taken their toll on him. After waking him up and confessing he knows all that Sonic has been doing, he explains that Sonic is, in reality, still just a child. Tom gives Sonic a fatherly speech about knowing when he should act and in what capacity. Sonic takes this in and agrees to curtail his habits.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

TAILS

Following on from the mid-credits scene from the first film, Tails (voiced again by the wonderful Colleen O’Shaughnessey) makes his arrival on Earth. He has been tracking Sonic through his own inventions. Using his dual tails, the Fox continues with his quest to find his hero, flying towards the town of Green Hills. He will become Sonic’s friend throughout the film once the pair meet. And together, they will become a great team for the trials that lay ahead of them both. Tails is a soft-spoken character. And one that possesses an incredible intellect. And will charm the young ones from the second he appears on the screen.

Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

DR. ROBOTNIK RETURNS

While Tom and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are away at the wedding of Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell, comic genius here) to Randall (Shemar Moore), Sonic has himself a supersonic party time. In fact, he trashes the Wachowski home completely. But thanks to his supersonic speed, when Tom Facetimes him to see how things are going, Sonic speedily clears the place up before answering. Relaxing after the call, Sonic is confronted by the return of Dr. Robotnik. The crazed villain is back to destroy his blue nemesis once and for all. But this time, he has an ally to aid him. Knuckles.

The pair have joined forces to destroy Sonic. Knuckles has the upper hand from the start of their fight. But when he inadvertently reveals why he wants to destroy Sonic, Robotnik pulls up. Knuckles is after the master emerald, a power he and his clan have been seeking for years. The emerald holds a magnificent power, one that Robotnik now wants for his own. Just as Sonic looks to be down and out, Tails arrives to save the day and rescue him. And thus begins an adventure to follow the clues and to discover the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Jim Carrey in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

VERDICT

The film is the perfect family film to see on the big screen. It has everything that you could want in a family movie. There is nothing here but good, clean, harmless fun. There are a few jokes that only the adults will appreciate but everyone will love them. Of course, we get the usual fart jokes, not only literally but visually too. But they are, again, completely harmless and designed to make the audience laugh out loud. Violence-wise, there is nothing here that can be considered too strong for younger viewers. It is all slapstick with no lasting repercussions for any of the characters. And the main characters we have come to see, Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails are guaranteed to make children fall in love with them. We laugh, we boo and we cheer. Exactly what a family movie should do.

Jim Carrey in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

THE CAST

Not to put a too finer point on it but the human cast are secondary to the CGI animated creatures. But everyone plays their part to make the film such a great time. James Marsden as Tom has grown into his role of Sonic’s adopted father. He does get his moments to shine throughout proceedings. Tika Sumpter gets in on the act. She doesn’t have too much to do in the film as Maddie but she does get her own time to create a lasting impression on the audience.

Lee Majdoub, returning as Agent Stone also gets his time in the spotlight. And again, his character is completely enamored of Dr. Robotnik, giving the audience some great comic moments. Adam Pally returns as Wade Whipple, chief deputy of Green Hills, and still a complete idiot. But he also gets his piece of the action and makes for a welcoming, comforting member of the cast.

Tika Sumpter and James Marsden in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures.

THE STANDOUTS

But nothing can compare with the two standout members of the human cast. Of course, one is Jim Carrey. He once again brings everything to his role as Robotnik. His comic timing has never been this sharp. And time and again, as soon as he appears on screen, we know we are going to cry with laughter. Jim Carrey is at his finest once again, bringing what could be a two-dimensional villain into a fully-fledged and often hilarious lunatic.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Jim Carrey and Lee Majdoub in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

The other is Natasha Rothwell as Maddie’s sister Rachel. Already a figment of comic fun, here she is brilliant. Her performance is completely on point from the second we see her on-screen. She gets her chance to shine and then some. At times, she had me crying with laughter at her antics and her feelings towards Marsden’s character of Tom. She even utters a few lines which make the film even funnier. And some of what she gets up to, quite simply, almost steals the show.

Natasha Rothwell and Shemar Moore in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures.

SONIC, KNUCKLES, AND TAILS

But we are here for the CGI characters. And they don’t disappoint us. Ben Schwartz, quite simply, IS Sonic The Hedgehog. From the minute we hear Sonic speak, we are wrapped in a comfort blanket. We know from this first appearance in the film that we are in for another good time. Schwartz’s vocals coming from the animated hedgehog fit perfectly. And his deliverance of Sonic’s dialogue is impeccable. The same must be said for Idris Elba. His growling, evil-sounding vocals for Knuckles again fit the character perfectly. We have the perfect version of the character here and Elba delivers in spades. Going forward, Elba must be brought back to provide the vocals for the Echidna once again. Anyone else now feels unacceptable.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

But now we come to Colleen O’Shaughnessey as the voice of Tails. The vocal actress has been voicing the Fox since 2010. And as soon as Tails speaks, we are entranced. Her tones are completely perfect for the character. And we can’t help but fall in love with him instantly. The vocals that Tails possess are that of a small child, someone who is enamored of everything and everyone around him. One of pure wonderment, amazement, and innocence. From the second Tails first speaks in the film, I had a beaming smile on my face. Colleen O’Shaughnessey has once again delivered in spades. And could be considered the MVP of the whole film.

Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

BEHIND THE SCENES

The direction by Jeff Fowler, his second big-screen effort after the original film, once again is wonderous. He has an eye for all the small details. And he shoots the human characters exactly the same way as the CGI creatures. The screenplay by Pat Casey, Josh Miller, and John Whittington is delightful. It gives us everything we would want in a family film such as this. And it hits the heights at almost every turn. The three know what they are writing about, and have the perfect formula to bring Sonic and his friends to the screen.

My only (slight) complaint is that at two hours and two minutes in length, the film does seem to drag a little in places. But only slightly. For 99.9% of the time we spend watching the film, we are hooked. There are just a few occasions when the film feels overlong. But that is a minor quibble with a film that had me in stitches in places.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to while away two hours, then look no further. This film has it all for you and your family. It will charm, entertain, and untimely have you leaving the theater afterward with a big smile on your face. The film will linger in the memory after it has ended.

However, be advised. DON’T get up to leave as the credits roll at the end. There is a mid-credits stinger. And one that will set up the already announced third film. No spoilers but I and many members of the audience ended up clapping, cheering, and whooping with joy at it. We had already been treated to an enjoyable movie. This mid-credits stinger made the film even better. And makes us want to see what they can pull out next. That will be a few years down the line. But they will be extremely hard-pressed to top this second film. I hoped to be entertained when I took my seat. The movie did all that and more. So, book your tickets now. You won’t be disappointed. And get ready to experience some Blue Justice!

‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ is distributed by Paramount Pictures and will release in the UK on April 1st and in the United States on April 8th.

 

 

 

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