The Sonic the Hedgehog saga continues. I have to admit that I totally missed the first movie went it was released in 2020. I don’t remember the exact details as to why I didn’t screen the film, but eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic pretty much shut down most public activities. I, therefore, never, ever caught up with this movie, but made a conscious effort to watch it prior to screening this year’s sequel.

Though I found nothing particularly extraordinary about the first installment, I still found myself entertained with the action and amused with the over-the-top, villainous antics by Jim Carrey. I also found myself charmed with the bubbly and winning personality that voice actor Ben Schwartz gives to the character Sonic. Well, after watching the new installment, I can confidently state that audiences will get to enjoy more of the same things that made the first Sonic enjoyable, but the movie also benefits from the addition of another amusing character in the form of Knuckles, who gets voiced by no other than the incomparable Idris Elba. That is not to say that Sonic 2 is overall better than its predecessor, but it, at least, maintains the same level of entertainment, which should please fans of the first movie.

Following the events of the previous film, Sonic the Hedgehog has been using his powers in an attempt at becoming a vigilante crime fighter. Though Sonic means well, he has much to learn about heroism, maturity, and recklessness. Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik continues to remain marooned on the mushroom planet where he has been working feverishly to return earth, so he can seek vengeance against Sonic. Robotnik gets his chance when Knuckles the Echidna wants to team up with him so he can confront Sonic about the location of the Master Emerald, a great source of magical power over which the echidna and owl tribes have clashed.

Since, Sonic was once under the tutelage and care of the owl Longclaw, Knuckles is convinced that the hedgehog knows its location. However, to Sonic’s recollection, Longclaw never explictly revealed this information, but did leave him an ancient map which supposedly leads the way. Teaming up with a big fan, a fox named Miles “Tails” Prower, Sonic attempts to beat both Knuckles and Robotnik to the Master Emerald, as he fears what could happen if Robotnik were to get his hands on it.

Much like the first movie, I enjoyed this sequel overall. Yes, it has its ridiculous silly moments, but the movie also has its share of amusing humor and exciting action. Written and directed by Josh Miller, who co-wrote the screenplay with Pat Casey and Pat Whittington, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 struggles to maintain its pace and endurance with an unnecessary subplot involving a conspiracy by the U.S. government to capture Sonic. Though this gag is moderately amusing, it actually adds so little to the movie as a whole.

Returning cast members Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, and Jim Carrey do not miss a beat when it comes to reprising their roles. Unfortunately, Marsden and Sumpter don’t get to contribute in too many substantive ways, like they do in the first movie, as their characters are mostly kept away from the main plot of the story. And as for Carrey, he gets to chew plenty of scenery, as he is meant to do.

As far as the new recruits are concerned, Idris Elba is the MVP of the group. With great comic timing, and the perfect amount of gravity in his vocal delivery, Elba makes Knuckles a very fun and amusing character. As Miles “Tails” Prower, Colleen O’Shaughnessey does well as Sonic’s fan and sidekick. Though the character is cute and enjoyable, he defintely lacks dimension. The writing does so little to make the character as interesting or compelling as Knuckles, or even Sonic for that matter.

But to be completely honest, I didn’t expect a tremendous amount of great character development in this movie. The first installment was a bit scant in that department, and things are about the same with Sonic 2. Still, I think the children fans will have fun, and the adults accompanying them will also have some fun to a certain degree. I wouldn’t recommend spending top dollar to see this movie, but a weekend matinee would reasonable and acceptable, especially if treating a relatively large group. I guess time (and money) will tell if the Sonic saga will continue. If it does, I am totally fine with this, but I do hope that any subsequent chapters improve on what the filmmakers have done so far.

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