While not as enjoyable as its predecessor, Sony’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2  fulfills what audiences are looking for with this speedster-sequel. We follow our signature alien speedster as he meets two of the other famous faces in this well-known SEGA video game franchise.

The first is his friendly sidekick from the games, aptly named Tails (voiced by original voice actress Colleen O’Shaughnessey) and the second is a red-colored Hedgehog named Knuckles (Idris Elba).

To no surprise if you’ve witnessed the trailer, Knuckles is working with Jim Carrey’s Doctor Robotnik to find a hidden gem of ultimate power. The plot does the bare minimum to set up some big screen adventure-seeking, and everything is kept at a very low-stakes realm of entertainment, breezy and quippy dialogue.

Oftentimes, the Sonic sequel catches glimpses of the magic that made its predecessor so enjoyable. Many of those moments are guided by Carrey’s fascinating work onscreen. Another nice surprise is that Elba’s Knuckles character, who is very literal-minded like Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The length of the movie is a bit padded at over two hours, which amounts to twenty additional minutes compared to the 2020 original film. The film’s attempts at heartfelt moments come off as strictly boilerplate and perfunctory.

The subplot about a destination wedding in Hawaii feels included just to give the humans something to do away from the action. If you were a fan of the first Sonic movie, it’s a safe bet you’ll enjoy this film on the big screen.

Letter Grade: C+

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a proud member of the Television Academy, the Hollywood Critics Association (HCA), and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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