SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 Review; "This Fan Pleasing Adventure Is A Game We'll Happily Play Again"

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now playing in UK cinemas, and ahead of its arrival in the U.S. next Friday, we're sharing our verdict on the sequel. Does it live up to its predecessor? Read on for our thoughts!

When Sonic the Hedgehog was released way back in 2020 (right before the world started falling apart), it's fair to say it massively exceeded expectations. After the title character's controversial redesign - which was thankfully ditched - no one really had much faith in it actually being a good, never mind great, video game movie, but it did Sonic justice and successfully brought the SEGA icon into a live-action setting. This sequel ups the ante with the introduction of Tails and Knuckles, and allows Jim Carrey to fully run wild as Robotnik, with the result being a follow-up that's even better than its predecessor. Funny, heartwarming, and action-packed, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a sequel that firmly establishes this franchise as a delight for fans and families alike.

In the movie, Sonic and Tails team up to battle Robotnik and Knuckles as they race to retrieve the Master Emerald. With a greater focus on its animated characters, the movie better explores the video game franchise's mythology while still making good use of its human cast to deliver some huge laughs and heartfelt moments that stand a good chance of leaving you wiping away a tear. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a little overlong, and at least one subplot with Maddie's sister, Rachel, could have probably been cut, but it's so entertaining (thanks to the brilliant Natasha Rothwell), we can forgive the sequel for being a tad bloated. The important thing is that the story works, and while there's a lot to cram in, it takes no time at all to buy into Sonic's dynamic with Tails or for Knuckles to repeatedly steal the show with his sheer level of badassery. The quest to retrieve the Master Emerald may not break a tonne of new ground, but thanks to some seriously impressive action set pieces that blow away what we saw in the first movie, you'll have endless fun with this awesome sequel.

Returning cast members James Marsden and Tika Sumpter are on top form (even with slightly less to do), while Ben Schwartz remains an excellent choice to bring Sonic to life on screen. Idris Elba, meanwhile, is perfect as Knuckles, bringing a dry, deadpan humour to the character and a toughness that ensures he feels like a credible threat to the iconic hedgehog. It probably goes without saying that Jim Carrey steals the show as Robotnik, but Elba is never overshadowed and we can't wait for that Knuckles spinoff. Back to Carrey, though, and the actor is clearly having an absolute blast as this villain, fully embracing his cartoonish, over the top exterior to deliver a pitch perfect take on "Eggman." Just like in 2020, it's hard to watch Carrey at work here and not wish he'd take on a greater number of acting gigs because he remains one hell of a talent and a joy to watch practice his craft.

A special mention goes to veteran voice actor and longtime Tails performer, Colleen O'Shaughnessey. You don't need us to tell you she's the perfect person to play this loveable character, and O'Shaughnessey proves that with a expectedly excellent take on Tails here.

In terms of visual effect, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 quite appropriately looks a lot like a video game at times. The CGI certainly isn't bad, but it does look a little too cartoonish here and there; then again, that's part of the charm of seeing these iconic characters brought into our world, and the action never fails to deliver. Throw in a great soundtrack, jokes that actually hit the mark (there's a side-splitting one-liner about Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel's feud), and fan-pleasing moments aplenty, and this sequel proves to be a satisfying blast of a movie. Oh, and make sure you sit through the credits for an extra scene that sets the stage for a threequel that will almost certainly take this franchise to the next level.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a truly great video game movie and a sequel that delivers on all fronts; action-packed, hilarious, and full of fun references, this fan-pleasing adventure is a game we'll happily play again.

IF

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