‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ makes successful second lap

Written By Dan Russo, Staff Writer

4/5 Globes

As a lifelong gamer, one of the most difficult things to deal with is adaptations to other mediums. It is not uncommon for video games to run longer than entire seasons of television, so boiling key plot aspects of a video game into a movie can be incredibly tricky. On top of that is also the fact that these movies oftentimes land in the hands of people who don’t understand what makes the world, story, or characters tick. Consequently, there have been a lot more bad video game movies than good ones.

2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” was an absolute blast to see on opening night, just a few weeks shy of the entire world shutting down. It had character, charm and most importantly, an understanding of what needs to be in a movie, and what doesn’t. Lots of video game movies get so bogged down by feeling the need to include so many things from the games in one story, rather than letting things happen organically. In that way, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” marks a major improvement over the first one.

This film gives Sonic much more to do on his own, with the help of his best pal Tails. I respect the decision to keep Tails’ voice actress from the games, Colleen O’Shaughnessey. She did a great job bouncing off Ben Schwartz, who reprised his role as Sonic from the first movie.

Jim Carrey also nailed it again as the evil Doctor Robotnik. His scenes are just as funny as they were in the first film, and he brings a new energy to the character that his appearances in the games don’t really have.

The addition of Idris Elba as Knuckles really brought this movie up a few notches for me. Idris Elba has been a favorite actor of mine for a really long time now, because I love that he absolutely commits to whatever role he takes. I have seen him as the absolutely rotten commandant in the amazing Netflix film “Beasts of No Nation.” I have also seen him be a cyborg in a Fast and Furious spin-off film. I know I am essentially praising Idris Elba for being good at acting, but I like that he can have fun with his roles sometimes. He was easily the biggest appeal of this movie for me, and like everyone else, he nailed it as well.

Overall, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is just as fun as the first one. And if you have seen the first one, you really have nothing to lose. While admittedly the movie does take a while to hit its full stride, there is a lot going on in its packed 2-hour runtime. There are warm and fuzzy moments, cool action set pieces, and a ton of slightly dated references that we all come to expect from the Blue Blur.