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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Blu-ray review: Dir. Jeff Fowler

After the genuinely unexpected joy of Jeff Fowler’s 2020 hit Sonic the Hedgehog (which I really enjoyed), this follow up, aptly named Sonic the Hedgehog 2, is the much more likely and anticipated sequel that returns us to the world of Green Hills, and everybody’s favourite supersonic blue hedgehog, excellent voiced by Ben Schwartz. This time around, he’s still going to have to fight Jim Carrey’s sparklingly entertaining Dr Robotnik, but the moustached madman had gathered help in the shape of Knuckles, a warrior echidna from Sonic’s home planet, and someone who the Big Blue hasn’t encountered before and is a lot more powerful than he initially assumes!

Why does he have to fight the Idris Elba-voiced Knuckles and Robotnik? Because the pair have teamed up, through a random meeting, to hunt for an Emerald that has the power to destroy civilisations – think infinity stones and the power of the infinity gauntlet really. In what is the first of many Marvel echoes, and I don’t doubt the history of Sonic the Video Game (I had it when it first came out and used to play it then religiously), there’s an awful lot of similar moments in the general overall story, which takes a little spark away from the wider adventure.

While Robotnik and Knuckles are together, Sonic partners up with Tails the two-tailed fox, who was always fun to play in the games as well. He’s arrived to assist his blue buddy Sonic against the evil duo and together they’ll take on a huge adventure to stop those infinity stones/giant emerald from getting into the wrong hands! There’s also the return of Donut Lord James Marsden and Tika Sumpter‘s Maddie, and their joyful pairing.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 does settle down in the second half, but the first half is a touch messy with lots of fan-favourite moments thrown in, along with some forced sequences that overall gets a bit repetitive. That natural joy of the first isn’t quite as strong, and the pushing of previous setup jokes or sequences falls a little flat, with Sonic more Ben Schwartz than before (and I like Ben’s style) alongside Sonic-created chaos, with disconnected scenes that try too hard.

Thankfully, the inklings of that main story linger and while not the most original, they get that in place immediately, then have a collection of silly sequences and then we return to the plot about half-way through. Once there, focus returns and much of this kicks off during a wedding sequence, with Natasha Rothwell’s Rachel giving a tour-de-force performance, which is all spectacularly bonkers and brilliant, with more than a heavy hit of natural comedy coming out of the situation.

Overall, it’s more of the same with Carrey on particularly high pun-central one-liners as Robotnik, and having fun, and while Knuckles ‘fish out of water’ character works occasionally, and it’s unmistakably Idris Elba, sometimes it’s a bit too identical to Dave Bautista’s Drax in his questioning and character build. The addition of the Colleen O’Shaughnessey-voiced Tails works for his/her innocence, and you’d side with Tails as a kid, I know I always did because Foxes are cool, and two tails to fly? Even cooler. The positive pair have a good partnership, which never flips over to cringeworthy, finding a balance of honest and funny, as they grow as a duo and friends over the duration of the movie.

With underlying values of family and friendship, with a whole of host of mass destruction thrown in the middle, it’s difficult to shake 10 years of Marvel influence on any action-based adventure film like this but maybe they could have held back earlier on and built the story with a little less frenzy, however, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a fun, visual comedy – as you’d expect, and I’m sure a younger, and specific Sonic-loving community will enjoy the escapism, even if it’s not quite as strong as the first.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is available to Rent or Buy on Digital now, and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD from 8 August: https://amzn.to/3HVfYG9

3 thoughts on “Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Blu-ray review: Dir. Jeff Fowler

  1. Pingback: Win Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Blu-ray! | critical popcorn

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