Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Is a Fun Ride for the Whole Family
Jim Carrey will go down as one of comedy’s greats, just like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Jerry Lewis, or Laurel and Hardy. In the ‘90s, Carrey changed comedy forever, cementing his place as one of the most memorable physical comedians of all time. His take on Dr. Robotnik in 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog was a return to form and a reminder of how wonderful he is to watch.
The good news is that Robotnik returns for the sequel, finding his way out of his extraterrestrial exile back to earth, which means bad news for Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and friends. The original cast returns, including the endearing James Marsden as Sheriff Tom, aka Donut Lord, who acts as Sonic’s adoptive dad. Tom and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) head off to Hawaii to attend the wedding of Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), a comedy of errors that feels like another movie altogether that just happens to cross over with a movie about a supersonic blue alien being chased by his arch-nemesis.
At the end of first film, playable Sonic character Miles “Tails” Prower (Colleen O'Shaughnessey) appears as a teaser to a sequel that probably wouldn’t have happened had Paramount forged through with the original horrifying design for Sonic. The studio reeled from public backlash to the first trailer and delayed the release of the film in order to fix the problem. This showed that Paramount respected the fandom and the fans, in turn, showed their gratitude in ticket sales, ensuring a second outing where we get not only a two-tailed gadget-loaded anthropomorphic fox but also Knuckles (Idris Elba), a red Echidna who packs a mean punch.
The sequel is even more of an homage than the first, with more easter eggs and nods to the beloved video game series—from Tails’ Tornado biplane to the Emerald Shrine. Robotnik and Knuckles pursue Sonic and his newfound friend Tails in a race to the mysterious Master Emerald, which controls the multicolored Chaos Emeralds; think of One Ring to Rule All the Infinity Gems in the Sonicverse. It’s a hilarious, action-packed adventure with a lot of heart and a healthy sprinkling of Jim Carrey. Basically, a winning formula.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a faithful, respectful adaptation that is best enjoyed by the whole family. It’s how video game movies should be made. There’s a certain magic and wonder in having our kids learn about and fall in love with the characters we loved as kids and such a treat that Generations Z and A get to see Carrey’s rubber-faced antics. Real-life cartoon character Carrey is so hilarious and so much larger than life that when he controls a giant robot (another terrific homage) in the film’s final showdown, it’s easily one of the most enjoyable moments in a movie that’s full of them.
Every scene with our furry heroes is a riot, particularly one where Sonic and Tails find themselves in a shady Siberian bar and have to face off with some questionable Russian thugs. But even the bits with real, non-CGI characters are genuinely entertaining—from Agent Stone’s pining love for his missing boss, expressed through latte art, to Maddie’s wedding in Hawaii where not all is as it seems. Every character is quirky and memorable in their own way, and not all of them get the screen time they deserve. Rothwell steals the scenes she’s in as the movie’s bridezilla; she was funny tied up to a chair in the first film, she’s even funnier out of it.
The film benefits from a director who knows and loves the franchise. Prior to his directorial debut with Sonic the Hedgehog, Jeff Fowler was part of the team that put together the CG movie for the Shadow the Hedgehog game in 2005. Fowler brings incredible fan energy into the film that it feels like a return to childhood. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a fun ride from start to finish, and that includes a mid-credits scene that’s sure to excite fans of the franchise.