In the picture

April 17, 2022

Sonic the Hedgehog’s second adventure is engaging even if it doesn’t explore inventive terrain

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ☆☆☆

Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Lee Majdoub, Idris Elba, and Jim Carrey

Directed by: Jeff Fowler

Tagline: Welcome to the next level.

E

veryone’s favourite anthropomorphic hedgehog is back on the big screen in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a sequel that doesn’t exactly set inventive standards but does manage to retain the charm of its predecessor.

In his second cinematic adventure, the beloved Sega character (voiced by the lovely Ben Schwartz) once again faces off against his old foe Dr. Robotnik (a terrific Jim Carrey).

Sonic – whose attempts to be a vigilante superhero aren’t going seamlessly – is left home alone while his adoptive parents, Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter), go on a trip to Hawaii to attend the latter’s sister’s (Natasha Rothwell) wedding. But his plans to have some unsupervised fun are interrupted by the return of Robotnik, who escapes mushroom planet with the help of Knuckles the Echidna (voiced by Idris Elba). The villain hopes to not only get revenge on Sonic but also find the Master Emerald, a gem that will give its bearer immense powers.

His nemeses may be menacing but luckily the protagonist has a new ally – a flying fox named Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey) – on his side. Together, the good guys must defeat the bad guys and stop the villain’s nefarious plans … which is a tale about as derivative as it gets. But there is enough charm here to keep the proceedings entertaining.

Splitting the story into two arcs – the superanimals adventure and the wedding comedy – sometimes does make it seem like you’re watching two different episodes at the same time, but it also gives the anthropomorphic and human characters the chance to have their own respective moments.

The cast – both voice and live action – is immensely likable, and Carrey is simply brilliant, his zany performance making his egomaniacal character’s antics a delight to behold.

Overall, there is nothing here that you haven’t seen numerous times before in one form or another, but there is enough wit pitched at kids and brand nostalgia for grownups to draw viewers in as the film delivers another instalment of family friendly fun. Don’t expect too much from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – video game-inspired movies aren’t exactly high art after all – and it will provide two hours of amicable (albeit largely unexceptional) entertainment, even if it doesn’t leave you with much to think about.



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