Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in Review

Just over two years have passed since the release of the live-action adaptation of “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Following in the footsteps of 2019’s “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” the film marked a pleasant surprise among video game movie adaptations, making well over $300 million worldwide during its initial run. Now, the sequel has arrived in theaters, fittingly titled “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”

Picking up where the events of the first film left off, Sonic (voice of Ben Schwartz, TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) is adjusting to life on Earth while housesitting for Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) as he attends a wedding for the in-laws of his wife (Tika Sumpter). Matters are further complicated when Dr. Ivo “Robotnik” Eggman (Jim Carrey) returns to Earth, searching for artifacts known as “Chaos Emeralds” with the aid of Knuckles the Echidna (voice of Idris Elba). Teaming up with a fox known as Miles “Tails” Prower (voice of Colleen O’Shaughnessy, reprising her role from the video games), a globetrotting adventure takes place to save the planet from disaster over the course of the film’s 122-minute runtime.

Much like how the second video game released on Sega Genesis in 1992 built upon the success of its senior, the film follows a similar pattern. Taking the best elements from the first movie and its video game source material, the movie provides a satisfying follow-up that also gives a preview of what fans can look forward to in the future (both a third film and a spinoff series on Paramount Plus centered around Knuckles are in early development as of this writing). On a budget of $110 million, the film takes place in locales from Seattle to Siberia to Hawaii, featuring nods to games spanning the entire history of the franchise to date. Some are obvious, such as the “Death Egg” robot that Sonic faces in the film’s final battle. Others will reward keen-eyed fans looking for Easter eggs from the series, young and old alike.

Overall, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a sequel that will not only please fans of the first film, but is easy to recommend as another running step forward for future video game adaptations. “Welcome to the next level.”

Directed by Jeff Fowler (Based on the video game series by Sega and Sonic Team)

Starring Ben Schwartz, Colleen O’Shaughnessy, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Lee Madjoub and Idris Elba

Rated PG

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