‘Sonic 2’ surprises, becomes highest-grossing video game adaptation film


Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Sonic 2 is a love letter to the video game franchise.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

When the world was first shown the freakish, hideous design for the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog’s first live-action film, people couldn’t stop talking and complaining about how awful the character and the film as a whole looked. Few believed that anything good would come from the film after such a disastrous first impression. However, after an emergency delay to clean up the character’s design to make him much more visually appealing, the first “Sonic the Hedgehog” surprisingly ended up being an enjoyable but relatively safe film for the video game franchise. Two years later, “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” has premiered and has since become the highest-grossing film based on a video game franchise. Compared to the first film, this sequel brings even more love to the original source material.  


Where the first film largely feels like a typical buddy-cop film that just so happens to have Sonic the Hedgehog in it, “Sonic 2” feels like a film that directly embraces what makes the video game franchise appealing. Within the first third of the film, Sonic’s human friends played by James Marsden and Tika Sumpter who were largely present in the first film are almost written out of the story in order to devote the majority of the film to focus on the characters that audiences actually want to see. This energy is carried throughout the entire film and both new and veteran fans of the series will be able to enjoy the multitude of references and callbacks to the video game source material.  


Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey reprise their roles from the first film and both do a great job at bringing their respective characters to life. Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik is especially entertaining with him playing a much more eccentric, unhinged version of the character. Carrey has expressed that he is heavily considering retirement from acting after this film and if the actor does choose to retire, his performance in “Sonic 2” will absolutely be a highlight for him to have ended with. Idris Elba and Colleen O’Shaughnessey also debut in this film as Knuckles and Tails and both actors breathe new life into their characters which haven’t been properly represented in the franchise in a significant amount of time. The action and setpieces also directly bring the fast-paced energy from the games to life and where the first movie largely only had a minimal amount of action scenes that were exciting, “Sonic 2” has several energetic and engaging moments with dynamic setpieces throughout its runtime.  


 Where other video game film adaptations are almost ashamed of their source material and try to do away with it to cater to a more general audience, “Sonic 2” embraces it and as a result, the entire film embodies the spirit of the original series and feels much more fulfilling to fans.