REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

Following the shocking success of Sonic the Hedgehog, many fans waited with bated breath for the eventual sequel. This weekend, the wait is over, as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been released in theaters. When the first film was announced, many moviegoers were uninterested, to say the least. Video game adaptations do not have a good history, and many were already beginning to sour on the idea of Hollywood as a whole. That disinterest was compounded by the first trailer’s release and Sonic’s awful initial look. What changed this apathy for many was the director, Jeff Fowler, coming out on Twitter, saying:

Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be…

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

In an era when fans are the enemy despite paying for everything Hollywood holds dear, a director coming out and listening to the fans was almost unheard of. Because of this small glimmer of humanity shining through the filth of Hollywood, many moviegoers decided that they needed to support this film to incentivize other directors to finally listen to fans. Hollywood needed to remember that happy fans make them lots of money, which seems to be a foreign concept to modern Hollywood. Even after watching the film out of obligation and in a desire to send a message, many moviegoers still found themselves enjoying Sonic the Hedgehog in and of itself. They got invested in the story and began looking to the horizon for the eventual sequel.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 doe not disappoint. It is a very simple, upfront, sometimes childish film, like the first one, but that does not necessarily mean it is bad. It was simple but a whole lot of fun—it may even be better than the first. The added dynamic of Knuckles and Tails gave Sonic equals to play off of, allowing his character to flourish even more.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 finds Sonic fully settled with his new family, having become an almost surrogate son to the Wachowskis. After being left home alone for the first time, Sonic is waylaid by Dr. Robotnik, returned to Earth with his new companion, Knuckles. Joining with another new arrival to Earth, Tails, Sonic races against time to recover the Master Emerald before Knuckles and Robotnik can find it and use it to reshape the universe. This may be a simple story, but the writers spent the time they would have spent developing the plot to develop the characters in a fun and exciting way instead.

The film’s most significant flaws lay in its tendency to dip into some cringe and cheesy moments that go a tad too far. Particularly with the character of Stone and a few Jim Carreyisms that stray from funny to over-the-top. However, these moments are few and far between; Jim Carrey’s clear enjoyment in the role often drowns out any issues with his performance. Beyond that, is the film woke or political in an undo fashion? Not particularly. This is just a fun kids’ movie, nothing more or less. It’s free of the typical propaganda that Hollywood tries to peddle.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Jim Carrey is very much Jim Carrey in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and he must be loved for it. If this is truly his last film before retirement, that does track with how much the director let him have free rein with his character. Every little eccentric idiosyncrasy that fans have come to expect from Jim Carrey is on display in this role. Sometimes it dips too far into the realm of cringe and cheesiness, but for the most part, it’s refreshing and fun. Hopefully, this is not his last movie, but it would be a high note for him to go out on, at least when compared to his other recent films.

James Marsden’s Tom has a lot less screen time in this film, but that works out well. With Tom’s new role as a father figure, he’s best kept to small doses. If his screen time came at the price of the inclusion of Knuckles and Tails, it was a price worth paying.

Knuckles feels very much like Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy. His character has the same lack of awareness of metaphors or cultural and societal customs. He’s on a mission to avenge his dead family, just like Drax. He’s a bit stupid, with a fair amount of rage issues, but he has a genuine heart and caring beneath it all. Idris Elba initially seemed like an insane choice for Knuckles, but he ended up being perfect for the role.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Tails makes a much smaller impact on the story than would have been expected from the trailers. His character is still good and fun; however, there’s something lacking from either his performance or the writing that leaves him a little underwhelming. This is not a quantifiable issue, but there’s just something missing from him.

Unlike most current-day films, the supporting cast of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is great. Most of them are incredibly enjoyable to watch. Maddie Wachowski is still fun and relatable, with some fantastic chemistry with James Marsden. They still come off as a great couple, and their banter makes the audience believe that they are indeed married. Just like in the first movie, Maddie’s sister Rachel is a fun diversion and distraction from the film’s A-plot whenever a moment of levity is required. Stone is where the majority of the over-the-top humor and cheesiness is derived from. Beyond them, the rest of the supporting cast does their jobs very well.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Just like the first movie, Ben Schwartz’s Sonic steals the screen, bringing an incredibly fun and empathetic performance without which the whole film would fall apart. Sonic’s character development and arc are a bit cliché and overused, but Ben’s performance sells it and ensures that the issues in the writing do not detract from the overall story. Without the talent of Ben or someone his equal, neither of these films would have worked.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 may not be a complex or groundbreaking story, but in an era when films are celebrated for being mediocre at best, this one does stand out as better than most.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

Plot - 6.5
Acting - 8.5
Direction/Editing - 7.5
Music/Sound - 7.5
Humor - 7.5



Sonic the Hedgehog 2 may not be a complex or groundbreaking story, but in an era when films are celebrated for being mediocre at best, this one does stand out as better than most.

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