"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Video games are a staple of entertainment in the modern age, and they have been entertaining audiences for over fifty years. Due to how important they are to a lot of people, film studios capitalize on their success by making films based off these classic video games and characters. One attempt was to make a film about Sonic the Hedgehog, and if you have read my one star review for that film, you can tell I probably wasn't looking forward to this sequel and held off on it for a long time. Well, I finally gave it a chance, and even though I would say this is better than the first film, it still contains numerous flaws and bad, annoying performances from most of the cast, especially by Jim Carrey.
The movie opens up a while after the first film, with Dr. Robotnik (Carrey) still stranded on the planet he was left on at the end of the first film. Luckily for him (but not lucky for the viewers), he is rescued off the planet by a space echidna, Knuckles (Idris Elba, who is the best thing about this film). Plotting his revenge against Sonic the Hedgehog (Ben Schwartz), Robotnik and Knuckles partner up and go to Earth to end the little blue speedster once and for all.
Sonic, on the other hand, is living his best life on Earth. He is serving as the adopted son of sorts to Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter). Secretly, he goes around their town and tries to be a hero to anyone who needs his help. When Maddie and Tom go to Hawaii for a wedding, they hope Sonic will be good and not cause any trouble. Even though he does get into some mischief around the house, it's nothing as bad as the two villains coming after him, hoping to destroy him and his family. Sonic is able to escape thanks to the help of Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessy), and they are forced to go on an adventure of a lifetime just to survive.
Now listen, I'm not saying Sonic is a horrible character or video game. I'm sure if I actually sat down and played through a Sonic video game, I would probably have fun. But seriously, what are the filmmakers thinking when crafting these films. Do you think they realize how annoying and idiotic their films are? I get it, they're trying to make films mainly for little kids, but it's pretty bad when the movie seems like it was made by children themselves.
It possibly makes all the same mistakes and follow all the same beats as the film that came before it. It's not necessarily fun to watch, but I would say this film is more bearable to watch compared to the first film. A major reason for this is Elba's performance and the side plot of Maddie and Tom attending the wedding. Elba is just naturally funny, no matter what role he plays. Knuckles adds a breath of fresh air to this movie, and I actually found myself enjoying what I was watching when he was on the screen. At the same time, I'm a big fan of Marsden, and the wedding side plot seemed like we were watching a completely different film. Usually, I would complain about it feeling so different, but in the terms of this movie, I fully embraced that difference.
Sonic is just a very annoying and idiotic character. In video games, the audience mainly has to make it through checkpoints, and doesn't really do a lot of character development. This forces the filmmakers to craft that character development in a way they think will be good for the film. Well, for Sonic, they don't do a very good job, in either of these films. He goes around and delivers cheesy and unfunny one-liners that the viewer wishes after a while would end for good. I didn't like him one bit, and I honestly didn't care what would happen to him towards the end of the movie. That's not a very good feeling to have towards a main character.
However, without a doubt, Carrey is the worst thing about this movie. I've mentioned before I'm not a huge fan of Carrey's work, with the exception of some of the comedy work he has done and his scarce dramatic projects, such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Truman Show". But, in this movie, he delivers the same old tired gags and over-the-top humor. It's not funny. In fact, I would say his humor makes me a tad uncomfortable at times. Now, I'm in the minority of people who feel like this, and if you enjoy Carrey's performances, then that's a good thing for you and means he is doing his job in a way that many people will enjoy. I just don't feel the same way unfortunately.
I wouldn't say this is the worst video game film ever made, but this movie and its predecessor are pretty high up on that list. Once again, I'm not entirely sure what the filmmakers were thinking or going for in crafting this movie, but I definitely think they failed on numerous fronts. The end-credits scene teases that there will be a third film in this series (unfortunately), but let's see if Shadow can save this franchise. It's not looking too good though.