IANS Review: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’: Bright, vibrant and energetic, and notches better than the previous edition (IANS Rating: ***)


Film: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ (Running in theatres)

Duration: 122 minutes

Director: Jeff Fowler

Cast: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Lee Majdoub; Voice Cast: Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, Colleen O’Shaughnessey

IANS Rating: ***This live-action-adventure film is a sequel to the 2020 released film – ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’. If those who saw the first edition felt the previous edition was an oft-seen and an outdated fare, then the sequel is many notches better than the first film.

The narrative feels like a direct continuation of its predecessor. Here we follow the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog Sonic (Ben Schwartz), the iconic Sega video game character as he meets two of the other famous faces from the video game franchise Tails the two-tailed fox, and the red echidna Knuckles (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey and Idris Elba), except that Knuckles is working with the returned evil and mad scientist Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey).

After being banished to the Mushroom Planet, Dr. Robotnik returns to Earth with his new companion Knuckles. He once again seeks out Sonic, who along with his new ally Tails, is searching for the hidden mystical emerald which holds the – “ultimate power to turn thoughts into reality”.

So inadvertently, the film turns into a treasure hunt and a villain showdown, which is fun to watch. There are a lot of familiar adventure tropes that will appeal to kids. The subplot about a destination wedding of Rachel (Natasha Rothwell), the sister of Sonic’s surrogate mother Maddie (Tika Sumpter), in Hawaii feels included, just to give the humans something to do away from the action. It is also stuff kids would be bored by, but for their parents, it’s a nice CG-free reprieve and a chance for the fuming Rothwell to steal the scene.

Also, what makes this edition appeal to Sonic video game fans- is that it leans a lot more into the game’s influences than the previous edition. There are few witty lines in the form of recycled gags from other films and plenty more nods to a secret temple in Siberia that houses a compass for the Emerald, giant spikes, and a scene where Tails pilots a biplane as it does battle with a King Kong-sized robot.

The set-action pieces feel nearly ripped from the games and are- a little over the top. The general message of responsibility and working together is simple and goes well with the narrative.

Overall, the film is bright, vibrant, energetic, and delivers just the right amount of- emotional quotient without feeling overdone.



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