The sequel to the surprise video game hit Sonic the Hedgehog is back in theaters, this time with a bigger budget, more characters, and a more mustachioed Jim Carrey. With Jeff Fowler back in the directing chair with the same screenwriters, there is certainly a visual throughline. Unfortunately, while the first film was certainly geared toward children, it knew its audience played the game on Sega Genesis in the 90s, with Sonic 2, the ratio is off, leaning heavily towards the kid side of things. The new characters of Tails and Knuckles are welcome additions, adding to the nostalgia of the game and bringing much-needed reprieve from the human characters who are the worst part of this franchise by a mile.
Ben Schwartz is back as the motor-mouthed Sonic, as well as James Marsden and Tika Sumpter, to diminishing returns. Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnic is back with a vengeance, with Carrey channeling his glory days, hamming it up every chance he gets. With the exception of Carrey, the human characters are vacant placeholders for the plot, serving only to bring attention that they are acting opposite CGI characters. The issue with human characters in CGI hybrid films is the physical and emotional connections, it certainly can be done, but the actors seem very checked out. Superhero films are the ultimate example of actors playing off of CGI environments and characters believably, or at least with consistency, meanwhile, the Sonic films struggle with bridging that gap with any semblance of believability or consistency. The physical interactions are clunky at best, maybe stop hugging the fully CGI characters.
While sure to be another hit thanks to its young audience, if you are looking for anything more than Disney channel level acting and cartoon action, you will be disappointed.
2 out of 5