Sonic is a Party Dude, but is ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ a Party Time?

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (CREDIT: Paramount Pictures and Sega of America)

Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Idris Elba, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Lee Majdoub, Tom Butler

Director: Jeff Fowler

Running Time: 122 Minutes

Rating: PG

Release Date: April 8, 2022 (Theaters)

Early on in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the little spiky blue guy has the house all to himself. So he and Ozzy the golden retriever just kick back and PAR-TAAAAAAY!!!! That’s the kind of Sonic movie I want. Just a CGI hedgehog and a chill pooch hanging out and having fun. And there’s no reason to have any anxiety about the mess they make, because thanks to Sonic’s super-speed, he can just clean everything up in a literal second! Why not take advantage of that? Anyway, that’s only a small portion of this sequel. I guess I’m totally fine with the decision to have Sonic team up with the Fox Fellow and the Echidna Dude to take down the Wacky Mustache Man, but it would have been a lot nicer if the dog had also been there the whole while. That’s all I’m saying.

Grade: Doggone It!

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ is Awfully Silly, And That’s Okay

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CREDIT: Paramount Pictures and Sega of America

Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Lee Majdoub, Natasha Rothwell, Frank C. Turner, Neal McDonough

Director: Jeff Fowler

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Rating: PG for Hedgehog Mischief and Mad Scientist Arrogance

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Sonic the blue video game character and Sonic the drive-in fast food chain are very different, insofar as running around loop-de-loops really fast is advisable with only one of them. But they are also similar, insofar as they are both fine and enduring examples of lowbrow culture. So the release of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie raises the question: is this a good flick to watch while chowing down on some burgers and tots? I would have to definitively say yes, and thus I am awarding the Jeff Fowler-directed Sonic the Hedgehog the first (and perhaps also last) ever Sonic Feast Stamp of Approval.

Remember that hullabaloo about Sonic’s CGI teeth needing to be reanimated to something less uncanny valley-ish after the first trailer was released? It turns out that job was taken care of thoroughly and that snafu will henceforth only be a footnote in cinematic history! Thus, we are all able to fully focus on our spiny friend’s hairy adventures. Not that we need to focus too much to understand what’s going on, as the plot follows a standard formula for kid-friendly video game creature adaptations. Sonic, voiced mostly amusingly by comedian Ben Schwartz, gets magically transported to the world of humans where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Tom (James Marsden), a small-town guy with big-town ambitions, and runs afoul of his nemesis, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), whose physical presence is more Earthbound than his typical video game iteration though his personality is full-on cartoonish.

Anyway, Sonic loses his bag of gold coins that he uses to transport between worlds, so he wrangles Tom in for a road trip to go find them, even though with his supersonic capabilities, he could probably do it himself in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t matter. It’s all just an excuse for Sonic to get up to shenanigans like causing a ruckus in a biker bar as Schwartz vamps, Carrey mustache-twirls, and the Olive Garden jams its way in there with some stealthy product placement. Also, Natasha Rothwell is on standby as Tom’s sister-in-law for some inexplicable running gag in which she keeps telling his wife to divorce him. It’s bright and colorful and silly, and frankly, I’m glad we live in a world in which doofy video game adaptations can still get made.

Sonic the Hedgehog is Recommended If You Like: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Batman Forever, The Smurfs

Grade: 2.75 out of 5 Loop-De-Loops