Sonic the Hedgehog 2 captures the nostalgia of of titular video game character


Photo by Sega/Paramount.

Diego Blanco, Staff Reporter

Sonic The Hedgehog had its live action cinematic release in 2020 and it was a smash hit with a total box office earnings of $319 million. With such big success, a sequel was sure to be on its way and sure enough it has arrived.

“Sonic The Hedgehog 2” finally debuted in theaters on April 9, and the majority of those who have seen it are loving it. It currently sits at an audience score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes which is quite impressive for a movie that is directed more towards kids. 

“Sonic The Hedgehog 2” takes many things that did and didn’t work in the first movie and improved upon it. What makes the movie work even more is that it’s a big love letter to all things Sonic which is the most important thing when making a video game movie.

Sonic 2 continues the story shortly after the first but it has a very new set of characters and a totally different story. Instead of focusing on the human characters, the story revolves around Sonic and his friends who are all played by a cast of very talented people who help elevate the quality of the movie. While all the voice actors do an amazing job, the actual best performance has to be discussed.

The best actor in the movie is Jim Carrey, who is having an absolute blast with the role. His performance as Doctor Robotnik is perfect and somehow outdid his performance in the first movie. If Jim Carrey does in fact retire after Sonic 2 then his final performance would be one of his best.

There are very few physical actors in Sonic 2, since most are simply giving the voice of the characters but the voice acting is still very good. Ben Schwartz continues doing an amazing job as Sonic and even improved some things that weren’t always the best like his delivery of lines.

In the first movie the line delivery was off and sounded out of place but in this sequel it’s much better. Another amazing voice comes from Idris Elba as Knuckles The Echidna who said his voice for the character was based off his character as Heimdall in Thor, but its not just him redoing a previous act.

He adds more to the character with his pronunciation and delivery which makes Knuckles sounds very threatening yet stupid which is what his character is in games and in shows like Sonic Boom.

The final major voice actor is Colleen O’Shaughnessey who is in a lot of Sonic shows and games as the voice of Tails, all three actors do an amazing job voice acting so when their characters are together it feels like a video game which is amazing. 

The cast is great, the design is great, but what makes the movie great? Aside from the performances it comes down to three components, story, cinematography, and music. The story is the most engaging part, with the first half of the movie following Robotnik with Knuckles and Sonic with Tails. Both duos are fun to follow and when they inevitably meet up the story picks up even more and has the opposing characters coming together more.

Robotnik’s plan and Knuckles reason for doing things he does align perfectly and the results with their character arcs are satisfying to watch because the effect of the characters actions and words have clearly rubbed onto the other characters.

The cinematography is also very well done, action scenes and long shots have a much better flow and look 100 times better than the first movie, many of the shots with Sonic and Knuckles look incredible because the combination of the characters and the background and the way a shot is angled looks spectacular, the editing in these scenes also help with flow because it doesn’t have a unnatural cut instead it is just like a game and progresses the story by showing the villain or the heroes depending on what the scene is.

The final and best aspect like most movies is the music. The theme for the characters is amazing, just like the rest of the movie, it remains faithful to the source material and makes the themes sound very similar to those games.

The movie overall is very fun and a great watch for fans of the games or casual viewers but despite the many things it has going in its favor there is one major issue throughout the movie and that is characters, while the main characters are fun to be with the other human characters are not. The issue is similar to “Godzilla” (2014) the things around the title character is fun but the rest is not, the same problem is in both Sonic movies where for some strange reason it was decided to focus on them, while excusable in the first, it is not for the sequel due to a couple reasons.

While the humans are less interesting than the main characters they are important to Sonic’s growth by the end of the movie so removing them altogether was not the route to go on however Sonic 2 has almost an entire 20 minutes dedicated to the humans, while 20 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot it certainly feels like it, the pacing gets broken and does not affect the story at all, as previously said there is nothing wrong with having the characters from the previous movie appear in the sequel but making their storyline shorter and more integral in the plot could not just improve the movie but the characters themselves.

James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Natasha Rothwell are great actors and were great in the first movie  but their inclusion in the sequel wasn’t necessary unless they were directly involved with Sonic, since these characters already have a relationship with one another.

Sonic 2 had many amazing moments and an overall great cast and story but if some scenes were shortened or perhaps had more involvement with Sonic himself it could’ve much better; however, the movie is still very good and its inclusion of references to other Sonic properties like “Sonic Adventure 2” and “Super Smash Bros” give it the extra kick of making the character of Sonic that much better to follow in this sequel that deserves the praise it is receiving.