Entertainment

A review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Ben Schwartz as Sonic in Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Ben Schwartz as Sonic in Sonic The Hedgehog 2
photo: Paramount Pictures

The first two Sonic the Hedgehog Movies may not be the loose bookends we need for the Covid-19 pandemic, but they feel like the ones we deserve. While the first film was a sickening mess that didn’t define the rules of its own world(s) well enough to obey, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 may have created too much mythology too quickly and aggressively moved forward whether audiences are ready for it or not.

And yet director Jeff Fowler’s sequel is an improvement in virtually every way. Renowned maximalist Jim Carrey is once again at the epicenter of the franchise’s comedic universe, while two new animated characters are introduced and some of the supporting human roles are upgraded. sound 2 rightly weakens Ben Schwartz Parks & Leisure-lite performance to make Sonic semi-likable.

Working with a seemingly larger budget and fewer origin story commitments, returning screenwriters Pat Casey, Josh Miller and franchise newcomer John Whittington create a globe-spanning adventure that has entertaining ideas for viewers of all ages, even though the film is too long and schizophrenic to survive the landing.

Following the events of the first film, Sonic has settled comfortably into his new home in Green Hills, Montana with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie Wachowski (Tika Sumpter). From there he occasionally appears, usually with disastrous effect, as a criminal vigilante in nearby large cities. Shortly after being told to stay home alone for the first time while Tom and Maddie travel to Hawaii for their sister Rachel’s (Natasha Rothwell) wedding, Sonic discovers that Dr. Robotnick (Carrey) fled the Mushroom Planet and teamed up with Knuckles (Idris Elba).

As the fierce Echidna Knuckles declares the blue hedgehog his sworn enemy, he believes Sonic will guide him to an all-powerful mystical object known as the Master Emerald. Meanwhile, a yellow fox nicknamed Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) arrives from Sonic’s planet and helps him escape capture by Robotnick and Knuckles.

Using technology salvaged from his devoted minion Stone (Lee Majdoub), Robotnick and Knuckles follow Sonic and Tails from a mountaintop in Siberia to an underwater kingdom off the coast of Hawaii, accidentally ruining Rachel’s wedding. When Robotnick steals the Master Emerald for himself, Knuckles must choose between pursuing a vendetta against Sonic that seemingly began before either of them were born, or banding together to stop a new enemy whose diabolical plots bring death could mean to Earth and her homeworld like.

Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnick in Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnick in Sonic The Hedgehog 2
photo: Paramount Pictures

If it was say 100 minutes long Sonic the Hedgehog 2 could have been the perfect film for video game-obsessed kids and their reluctant driving-age companions, who race through action set-pieces and silly punchlines with the same urgency as Sonic does when he slips back into bed with Tim and Maddie after a long, disastrous time Crime Fighting Night. At 122 minutes it is away Too long for viewers of all ages, although cutting out superfluous elements would mean cutting out exactly what adults might find interesting – if only because they were so amazingly inserted into the film.

In particular, it seems like the entire subplot involving Rachel’s Hawaiian wedding to the handsome Randall (Shemar Moore) was created to give the rest of the on-screen actors something to do, while Jim Carrey Ben Schwartz’s voice comes from one place chases to the next, with Elba’s voice at his side. The payoff for the wedding, not to be spoiled here, creates a fun roleplay exercise for actors quarantined at a luxury Honolulu resort, but its thematic relevance to the rest of the film runs about as deep as the all- Purpose “Family” plotting device Fast and the Furious sequels.

As Sonic, Schwartz gets to quote his famous Jean Ralphio line “the wooooo-orst” in the film, but otherwise delivers a less insulting, more subdued, and more daring performance than in the previous film. Conversely, Knuckles challenges Elba to offer the same kind of stilted, clueless gruffness that makes Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer a fan favorite on the series Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Remarkably, he doesn’t call in his efforts, but it’s hard to ignore the “I paid for my guest house” undertone that lingers in his voice.

As for Carrey, whether he’s just leaning into the video game’s source material or deciding that entertaining himself at all costs does his job best, he seems to have given up pretensions to nuance entirely. When Robotnick inevitably becomes an overpowering presence towards Sonic and company (long before he telekinetically creates a kaiju in his own likeness), Carrey gives the role everything he has and more in a performance that overshadows even the character’s ineptitude to ignore him, larger-than-life facial hair.

Among the rest of the cast, Marsden and Sumpter earn their paychecks for convincing viewers they have patience (let alone an ounce of genuine emotional investment) with enfant terrible Sound. Rothwell makes the most of the plot detours set in motion by Rachel’s marriage and Adam Pally (The Mindy Project) provides a remarkably goofy comic book alternative to Carrey’s megalomania. But while one of the ideas in this second sound Chapter is that the title character is growing up a little, the franchise that bears his name continues to be made for children – a conveyance of color and energy and sophomoric humor and not much more.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and again, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 fulfills this task better than its predecessor. But with more characters in a previously announced sequel and spin-off for Knuckles, the sound Series feels like it’s in too much of a rush — especially when its audience’s escorts and ticket buyers can’t wait for the credits to make a quick exit.

https://www.avclub.com/sonic-the-hedgehog-2-review-jim-carrey-ben-schwartz-idr-1848748873 A review of Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Andrew Schnitker

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