Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Spoiler Review
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 rolled into theaters and I had to be there for opening night. Before there was even a trailer for this movie, I wrote an article about throwing darts at what I expected to be in the inevitable sequel. Well unfortunately, there is no Crush 40 or Metal Sonic but I was right about everything else and ⅗ is a D which is a passing grade where live.
I never actually did a review of the first film, but for my thoughts at Sonic speed, it was good. A totally acceptable adaptation of the classic speedy hedgehog. They gave Sonic a slightly altered origin with an OOC (Original Owl Character) for a mother figure. Some details from the games change here and there but all the important stuff is still intact, Sonic’s still fast, and he still fights Eggman. I wouldn’t even mention this if it weren’t for some Sonic fans being documented not being able to take Sonic breaking canon very well.
C’mon guys comic book movies do this kind of thing all the time, calm down. Getting real-life cartoon character Jim Carrey to play Dr. Robotnik was an amazing choice, and he brings such life to the movie. Overall, the movie was a great introduction to the series for kids and a brilliant piece of fan service for long-time fans like me.
On to the sequel now, the first movie being a good video game adaptation was surprising, but the sequel being even better was way past cool. I didn’t make the comic book movie comparison above for no reason. The story structure of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 feels very much like a comic adaptation hand in hand with Sonic literally wanting to be a superhero. The presentation is one of the more child-friendly MCU films.
You got your crazy action set pieces but the occasional reference to flossing and a whole out of nowhere dance-off scene. As a long-time Sonic fan myself, all the brief references to old Sonic games like Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and seeing Sonic and Tails being bros on the big screen made it worth every cent.
My theater experience was a little nostalgic and not just because of the Sonic fan service. The other reason is the last Sonic movie was the last film I saw in theaters before going into Covid lockdown. I had almost forgotten that there are people who bring babies to movie theaters. I haven’t seen a packed theater in a long time is what I’m trying to say.
Stuff I Was Right About
The first thing on my list was Knuckles and, well and behold, I was right. Tails was in the after-credit scene of the first movie and Sonic having back up for a villain he already beat by himself seemed lame. Echidna warriors were in the first, so bring in the most famous one. Knuckles first appeared in Sonic 3 for the Genesis and he was tricked into fighting Sonic by Eggman. In later games, Knuckles is Sonic’s friend and guardian of The Master Emerald.
In the movie Knuckles is voiced by Idris Elba, and it doesn’t matter how unsexy he said he was going to play Knuckles, the rule 34 artists still have to pay rent. Accurate to the games, Eggman takes advantage of Knuckles being gullible and recruits him to be the brawn to the good doctor’s brain. Elba does an impressive performance as the strong, stoic warrior type. After Robotnik inevitably betrays Knuckles for the ultimate power of the Master Emerald, Sonic shows Knuckles the real superpower of teamwork. Again, accurate to the games Knuckles is Sonic’s friend in almost every single game after Sonic 3.
Second, on my list were the Chaos Emeralds, and when I was watching the movie, I thought the writers cut out the middleman and just made the Chaos Emeralds and Master Emerald into the same thing. Not the case, like in the games almost every single time the Master Emerald appears it gets shattered. Instead of Knuckles playing Hot and Cold for the emerald shards, the Master Emerald shatters into the Chaos Emeralds. The Chaos Emeralds in the game are the things that allow Sonic to turn into Super Sonic, which allows him to fight the last boss.
Here the story is again different but hits all the same beats, really. Knuckles isn’t the Master Emerald’s guardian. He is questing for it because it used to belong to his tribe and he has beef with Sonic because his owl mom took the Emerald. Most of the movie is Sonic and Tails racing to find the Master Emerald before Knuckles and Eggman do.
Speaking of the search for the Emerald transitions into the third and final thing I was right about. While we don’t return to Mobius, as I had hoped, we get some more Sonic game-like environments so I’m still chalking this up as a win. We get a snowboard scene in an avalanche, and multiple ancient temple ruins which have appeared in several of the games. The second of these ruins housing the Master Emerald really reminded me of old-school Sonic levels, like Aquatic Ruin Zone from the Sonic 2 game. While it’s all still on Earth, having this change of scenery really breathed fresh energy into this movie and was one of the major reasons I like it more than the first. It just makes for a more fun experience.
Like I said before, I was wrong about the other two things on my list, but before I wrap this up, I’m going to make a prediction for a third film. Jeff Fowler had announced with the second movie being a fusion of the Sonic 2 and 3 games that the movies wouldn’t be following the games in order anymore. After hearing that, I called that the mid-credit was going to tease Shadow the Hedgehog. Shadow is one of the most popular characters in the whole Sonic franchise, so I knew it had to be the edgy hedgy, or maybe Metal Sonic.
Sonic already turns into a gold-themed super form so the Dragon Ball comparisons have been made for years. Knuckles is kind of like the Piccolo to Sonic’s Goku which obviously means Shadow is like Sonic’s Vegeta. My guess for the third movie is Team Sonic versus Shadow collecting the Chaos Emeralds after they scattered to who knows where after the Super Sonic scene at the end of this movie. Shadow is known for his Chaos Control ability, which requires him to have at least one Chaos Emerald to do so a race for all the emeralds between the fastest thing alive and the ultimate life form would make for an awesome third installment.
I know Sonic fans are weird and I say that as a Sonic fan myself, but I recommend this movie to anyone just looking for a fun ride. It’s silly and tries a little too hard to be cool, but Sonic’s been that way for over thirty years now. Remember the Soap shoes in Sonic Adventure 2? The movie is just fun for kids and Sonic fans alike. As far as video game to movie adaptations go, I wholeheartedly say this is one of the best. Before I sign off, just a few reminders. Sonic fans, remember this is a kids’ movie, you’re not the target audience anymore, stop taking things so seriously. Parents, remember to check safe search is on Google after taking your kids to see Sonic.