Thu | Nov 30, 2023
‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ review

Super-sonic sophomore success

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2022 | 12:06 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
The villainous Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his vicious partner, Knuckles (Idris Elba) in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’.
The villainous Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his vicious partner, Knuckles (Idris Elba) in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has several of the mainstays for a popular sequel. The introduction of new characters, diverse locations, and a visual effects facelift. It is the by-product of a well-received start and a bumped-up budget. More often than not, these ambitions lead to a film that’s less than the sum of its parts. With Sonic The Hedgehog 2 the result is a well-balanced, exciting film that exceeds its predecessor, while staying true to its core foundations.

The humour in the film is still surprisingly strong. Jim Carrey revels in a way that this ‘90s kid can’t help but be gleeful. Stealing his villainous thunder though is celebrated and award-winning actor, Idris Elba, delivering the performance of his life as a four-foot tall Kool Aid-red echidna with spiked boxing gloves for hands. His deadpan delivery combined with his signature bass-powered voice pulls off the character’s self-serious demeanour perfectly.

On the flip side is the excessively optimistic Ben Schwartz who continues to sound like he’s having the time of his life as Sonic. Outclassing them all, however, is Colleen O’Shaughnessey the veteran voice actress who’s lent her talent to the character of Tails since 2014, and continues her streak with this cinematic debut.

The movie deserves commendation for its stunning grasp on what it needs to deliver. Most of the film is spent with the characters you actually want to see, with the human characters relegated as support. Yet they’re not without their moments. Each member of the cast delivers without a hint of irony. Across the board, there’s a heartfelt sincerity that you wouldn’t expect for a film with as ridiculous a premise as this one.

Make no mistake, the premise is ridiculous. It’s the kind you’d see on a stretch of episodes from a Saturday morning cartoon that ends with ‘To be continued’ week after week. Instead, the film is a ride from start to finish that’s bound to put smiles on the faces of children, and has just enough for the most exhausted adult chaperone to tolerate.

It seems just yesterday that the Sonic the Hedgehog film was announced. The reveal was met with disdain from a battered fan base. Too often the promises of a quality video game film adaptation were defaulted upon. Yet the first film starring the bright blue ball of fur was astonishingly pleasant. For a franchise that began from humble beginnings, it’s fascinating to see the phenomenon it’s become. Sonic The Hedgehog as a film was the franchise learning how to walk. With this sequel, it’s started to run.

Rating: Big Screen Watch