Last week I reviewed “Morbius,” a film whose constant delays in release turned it into a punchline. Next week I’ll be reviewing the new “Fantastic Beasts,” part of the franchise whose behind-the-scenes scandal has turned it funny.
Sandwiched between the two is “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” a fun lighthearted affair whose only crime is the sequel to the film whose disastrous first trailer turned it into a comic strip three years ago.
One of the few bright spots of the 2020 domestic box office was the success of “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Sega’s video game adaptation grossed $148 million, making it one of only two films to cross $100 million in the pandemic-tainted year. More importantly, it became the best-selling video game adaptation of all time.
Short of a pandemic-sized obstacle course, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is on track to break that record thanks to its $71 million opening weekend and Easter. Not bad for a franchise that gave the world one of CGI’s most hated monsters when the first trailer released in 2019. The overwhelmingly negative reaction to the human-toothed Sonic of the trailer led to months of delays in the character’s release. redesigned. But the rework paid off, as it resulted in critical and commercial success for the film, not to mention interest in a sequel.
A new chapter begins with Dr. The evil Robotnik (Jim Carrey) has escaped exile on the mushroom planet thanks to his trademark wits and the hands of new ally Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba). Back on Earth, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) wreaks havoc to thwart a bank robbery. Human allies like his parents, Tom (James Marsden) tell him he needs to take more responsibility, so he puts him in charge of the house while he and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) head to a wedding in Hawaii. Sonic isn’t penalized or made to repair the damage he’s done, he just gets the house to himself for the weekend, and is partying right away.
However, the party was short-lived, as trouble soon found Sonic in the form of Robotnik and Knuckles. Luckily, Tails’ new fox ally (Colleen O’Shaughnessy) shows up to help fend off the baddies. From there, the film becomes a two-on-two race to see who can find the most powerful emerald first. Adventures and jokes ensued.
It’s been less than two months since “Uncharted” and two weeks since “The Lost City,” so this film is very familiar to treasure hunters, but at least here it is with a more likable character.
To be honest, I don’t really care about emerald stuff at all (Tail looks flat in its exposition). I find more enjoyment in the Sonic/Tails/Robotnik/Knuckles relationship, as the characters learn lessons about courage, compassion, trust, and, yes, responsibility.
If there’s a storyline in this film that’s particularly “interesting,” it’s the marriage between Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) and fiancé Randall (Shemar Moore, who could easily replace John Stamos as the poster boy for Never Aging). ). I know people don’t go to the Sonic the Hedgehog movies for weddings, but the jokes in this scene are better than the non-wedding scenes.
The bad news is that I’m not ready to say that “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” breaks my record of not having seen a “good” video game movie. The story took some bad time not taking itself seriously, the blurring action did nothing for me, and I really got a feel for the runtime towards the end. The good news is that there’s nothing particularly unfunny or unpleasant here. Jim Carrey is at his best in comedy (I hope he’s not seriously retiring from acting), and all the characters are likable in one way or another. I wouldn’t say this film should be a priority for adults, but it’s perfectly fine as an option for families with children.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is rated PG for action, some violence, harsh humor, and mild language. The runtime is 122 minutes.