What to Watch This Weekend: Sonic The Hedgehog 2

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

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the story of learning what it means to be a hero. Blue speedster Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is no longer in hiding, but his struggles to fit in continue. Sonic is full of intentions that come from a place of good, but as his best-friend Tom (James Marsden) reminds him—he has a lot of growing up left to do. When Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) escapes his exile with new ally Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba), Sonic teams up with Miles “Tails” Prower to stop their quest for ultimate power.

What works in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the family fun. Director Jeff Fowler (who oversaw the first film) follows the same formula that made the predecessor a success. There’s a lovely blend of laughs, thrills, and even some good messages about family and responsibility. The comedy was wide appeal: little ones will giggle themselves silly at the physical pratfalls, while older watchers will appreciate the puns and pop culture references. Idris Elba’s interpretation of Knuckles is quite funny and unexpectedly plays for long gags. And Jim Carrey fans will appreciate how the rubber man once again gives it his all. In every scene the literal mustache-twirling villain has his energy level cranked up to 11, and it’s impossible not to chuckle while appreciating his ridiculousness.

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People less familiar with the Sonic video game franchise probably won’t enjoy Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as much as others as the dialogue and visuals are riddled with references. These will cause those in the know to ooh and aah but leave others wondering what’s so funny. Expanding upon that, this film falls squarely into the category of movies best enjoyed with younger viewers as the humor is clearly aimed at them. People are going to have to simply accept that the structure is disjointed, and the plot is Swiss cheese if examined with any level of scrutiny. This is popcorn fodder at its finest and those seeking a comedy with more substance may be better off with other options.

In the most complimentary way, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 feels like a video game come to life. It’s bright, colorful, and goofy. Schwartz does a fantastic of job of making Sonic endearing, which makes his antics and adventures easy to root for. While it won’t be for everyone, it squarely delivers on what its selling.

Recommended if you Enjoyed: Sonic the Hedgehog, Uncharted

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