Movies primarily based on video video games, infamously, don’t have an excellent monitor report. There’s usually speak of a curse. However Sonic The Hedgehog — the primary live-action tackle Sega’s spiky, speedy boy-in-blue, launched in 2020 — managed to beat preliminary fan backlash and combined opinions to develop into a uncommon success, at the very least on the field workplace. By no means thoughts that the movie was pretty generic and forgettable household fodder: in brutal industrial phrases, Sonic is formally essentially the most profitable movie primarily based on a online game ever. Now it makes a bid for a cinematic universe with the sequel. A 3rd movie is already within the works, together with at the very least one TV spin-off.
Curse or no curse, a franchise is burgeoning, and so in each respect Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is de facto simply extra of the identical. Steered by largely the identical artistic group as earlier than, that is merely extra pretty generic and forgettable household fodder: a Saturday-morning cartoon with a Hollywood finances, focused primarily at an viewers of eight-year-olds. It’s nonetheless vibrant and kooky, the CG character designs are nonetheless jarringly cartoonish of their live-action environment, and the jokes are nonetheless, on the entire, dangerous. The numerous variations are the addition of Tails, voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey; and Knuckles, voiced by Idris Elba, who’s like a Poundshop Drax The Destroyer.
The plot is a considerably inconsequential, bog-standard MacGuffin hunt: Sonic should discover a map, which leads him to a magic compass, which leads him to a secret underground temple, which then sends him by a maze, which reveals a magic emerald. Classes are discovered, friendships are made, bonds are strengthened, dance-offs are had. Curiously, it fails to comply with the speedy philosophy of its hero, with a deeply pointless two-hour-plus runtime that can absolutely give small individuals itchy toes.
That is merely extra pretty generic and forgettable household fodder
As with the primary movie, the closest factor right here to a saving grace is Jim Carrey, reprising his function as essentially the most deliciously over-the-top villain this aspect of a pantomime. (His flip because the Riddler in Batman Perpetually looks like a triumph of nuance and understatement by comparability.) Now sporting a bushier moustache to twiddle, he reminds us, once more, that no person in Hollywood can expertly gurn fairly like him. It’s a tantalising trace of his hyperactive ’90s heyday; if solely he was placing it to first rate materials. In actual fact, it’s by Carrey that the movie reveals uncommon flashes of self-awareness. “I don’t need to die like this!” Robotnik screams at one level, throughout a sequence the place he’s working from a distinctly Raiders Of The Misplaced Ark-esque boulder. “It’s by-product!” It’s an honest, humorous line — and possibly extra shrewd than the filmmakers had been intending.