‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ is enjoyably subpar

Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, and Tails, voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, fly in a biplane to escape danger. Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures Studios
Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, and Tails, voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, fly in a biplane to escape danger.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures Studios


“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is like a glass of milk on a hot summer day. It’s not exactly what you want, but it gets the job done. 

Much like the first film, “Sonic 2” is filled with subpar humor, mediocre human characters and a plot that can be predicted with your eyes closed. The excuse that it’s a film targeted toward children is not valid when films such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” exist. 

It’s lazily written and has emotional beats that rarely manage to tug on heartstrings, no matter how hard it tries. 

But, even with all of its flaws, it’s a fun film, as long as you turn your brain off for 2 hours. 

The story picks up a short time after where the first one ends. The antagonist Dr. Eggman is stuck on another planet, and Sonic is living his best life with his adoptive family. Life is good but not perfect. 

Sonic is itching to use his superspeed to help others, resulting in him causing more harm than good. Generic human father figure gives Sonic the “with great power comes great responsibility” speech, Eggman comes back and yada yada. 

The plot really doesn’t matter in this kind of film. It’s all about the fanservice and set pieces, which is this film’s best characteristic. 

Fan-favorite characters Knuckles and Tails make their way onto the big screen, and they look great. There was a pretty big controversy surrounding Sonic’s original design when the trailer for the first movie was released.

His realistic features and proportions made him break right through the uncanny valley. Fortunately, it was changed for a more favorable cartoony approach. The design of all the CG anthropomorphic animals is quite faithful to the source material. The artists/modelers did a great job. Jim Carrey’s Eggman looks good as well, even if he’s missing his stomach. 

CG characters can be tricky. If the voice actor doesn’t give a solid performance, then the animator is stuck with the grunt work of making the character likable. Fortunately, Ben Schwartz of “Parks and Recreation” fame oozes charisma. Even if his jokes don’t always land, he keeps the energy going, making the Blue Blur the most tolerable he’s been in a while. 

Tails is voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, which was a great choice since she’s been voicing Tails in video games and cartoons since 2014. Because of her experience as a voice actor, she conveys everything the audience needs to know about tails. He’s timid but intelligent and desperately wants to be like Sonic. 

People Magazine’s 2018 “Sexiest Man Alive” Idris Elba voices Knuckles, an echidna that takes everything at face value. His portrayal is similar to the way Dave Bautista plays Drax in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. He has a hard time understanding colloquialisms and is mostly stoic. It was an odd casting choice that paid off in full. 

There are other characters besides the trio, but practically all of them bring down the movie. It’s jarring that the filmmakers think the human characters are interesting enough to be the sole focus for more than five minutes. If the movie had no human characters at all, it would benefit from it. But, there is one exception. 

Carrey’s Eggman exudes Ace Ventura and Mask energy. Even at 60 years old, Carrey carries himself with unmatched energy. He’s flying all over the place, giving Nicholas Cage a run for his money. 

The inevitable “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” has a couple of lessons to learn. The human characters are boring, fart jokes aren’t funny and people are watching the movie for the CG characters. “Sonic 2” teeter-totters between a fun movie and one that thinks it should stop focusing on a super-fast hedgehog for a wedding subplot.