Nerdlocker Movie Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 2


“A true hero is not measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” – Hercules

I suppose this is where my inexperience shows through most when I’m trying to articulate what I thought about a movie that was in no way intended for me. It would be unfair of me to judge it because it’s a kiddie/family movie and I’m a thirty-three year-old white guy who hasn’t even played a Sonic game in more than twenty years. Even if I remembered a lot of the characters and could understand why a certain reveal was big news it’s obvious from the start this movie was meant for a different audience. As I’m typing this however I’m reminded that studios like Pixar for example often make features capable of entertaining all ages. So maybe I’m torn a little bit on how to gauge this movie.

One thing I can contribute to the conversation that is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the reactions of a six and twelve year-old. One of my favorite things about getting to do this whole movie critic thing is sharing the benefits with family and friends. Over that past weekend I was fortunate enough to take my two nephews, Eastenn and Blake (and their Grandmother), to an early screening of the sequel complete with a raffle for prizes, face painting, gifts and of course lots and lots of popcorn and candy (Eastenn is a fiend for popcorn). As we left the theater I asked them what they thought of the movie and was pleased with two enthusiastic seals of approval. I can’t forget to mention the theater was absolutely packed with families who from my perspective seemed to have a fantastic time.

What I can say from my own perspective is that what I could appreciate about the first film I found more of in the second. Ben Schwartz as the titular hero is pitch perfect once again. He brings a wacky, energetic voice performance to a hedgehog whose visual performance is equally stunning and certainly engaging for the little ones who need something bright and colorful to focus on. The visuals from characters to computer manifested destruction is bigger and more plentiful this time around. Matching Schwartz’s zany performance is Idris Elba as Knuckles, a kooky, ridiculous character in a completely different fashion from Sonic but somehow matches him in so many ways. It’s almost as if they come from the same video game, huh…

The human characters feel more useless than ever, with the exception of Jim Carrey’s off-the-wall performances as Dr. Robotnik of course. He’s every bit a cartoon as his actual computer animated counterparts. As for the “dad” and “mom” characters, to say they feel forced is an understatement. The characters are sent off to Hawaii for a sort of vacation/wedding trip and quite frankly should have been left there. Instead some contrived excuse is designed to force their participation in the furthering of the plot. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Robotnik aren’t enough, no no we need Tom and Maddie; aka mom and dad! Oh and of course we can’t forget the loudest in the room, the sister-in-law, Rachel.

The scenes featuring these characters are supposed to be comedic. Instead I found them to be nothing more than a distraction from why we were there in the first place, which is to see Sonic do his hedgehog thing. That said, these characters ultimately only amount to minimal screen time making their presence insignificant enough to not pull down the movie too much. However at a runtime of nearly two hours, the movie drags at times and maybe an edit of some of these characters would help the overall pacing and length but what do I know?

Going back to Jim Carrey for a moment, his performance, much as it was in the first Sonic movie, is another beloved return to his physical comedy that has made him such a legend. At sixty years-old he feels as spry and crazy as ever. His lauded abilities are on full display as he runs and dips and dives as if a man half his age. Much like the beautiful cgi dripping all over this adventure, Carrey’s energy is palpable and a true highlight of the movie. Also his mustache is perfectly insane like the human domain it rests on.

At the end of the day this isn’t my kind of movie. I know I already said that but I’m saying it again, sue me. I’m just clarifying that even though I have no desire to ever see it again, it’s still a perfectly viable choice for any family fun at the theaters this upcoming weekend. For the Sonic video game fans, having sat in front of two of them, this is one not to miss. Much like the first, there are some major events and character reveals guaranteed to make any fan cheer for what’s happening and the prospect of what’s to come in potential sequels. ( By the way, there will be a third Sonic movie) Aside from the length and a few needless characters, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a fun, family adventure replete with action and comedy I promise will entertain the whole gang.

(Added Bonus: There is a joke reference to Parks & Rec and a joke about drumpf so be on the lookout for those. They were some of my favorite moments.)

Rated PG For: action, some violence, rude humor, and mild language
Runtime: 122 minutes
After Credits Scene: No.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, Idris Elba, Colleen O’Shaughnessey
Directed By: Jeff Fowler

Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 7/ Acting: 7/ Directing: 7.5/ Visuals: 8.5
OVERALL: 7.5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: For the family, yes. Me? No.

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard