“Papa’s got a brand new ‘stache!”
Tom’s rating: I’m in for the hullaballoo of “Round Two with the Blue”
Tom’s review: I saw the original Sonic the Hedgehog movie when it came out a couple years ago, and I, like most, remember the crazy hullaballoo around the fans complaining about the look of Sonic to the point that it was changed, costing around $5 million to appease the angry fans. Good on ’em. Forget feeding the poor and hungry and overworking animation artists! It was 5 million well spent! Why? Because then we wouldn’t have had Sonic the Hedgehog 2! It was a fun, lighthearted action sci-fi videogame comedy that was a visual animation feast.
Yes, there’s nothing quite like an early Saturday morning matinee with the family, is there? I guess at this point, you really have to question if Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a kids movie or a “family movie” since the original game is a 30-year-old itself, and really… I was going for myself as much as my kids. I mean, who doesn’t know the greatness of the blue hedgehog? I take that back. I had a friend just today tell me he’d never played any of the Sonic the Hedgehog games. I was flabbergasted.
Anyway, I remember playing Sonic when it first came out when I was in college! That said, I lost track of Sega’s Iconic moneymaker somewhere after the second or third game and from that point forward the best I could muster was watching my kids play the newer iterations on the Wii and beyond. They’re all much more up on the lore and backstory of Sonic the Hedgehog than me, and yes, there is actually a lot of lore and backstory for Sonic the Hedgehog. We’re talking 12 separate comic book series, a manga, a TV show, four novels, etc. It’s a lot.
Of course, the Sonic the Hedgehog movies have their own lore, mostly centering around the relationship of one Tom Wachowski and his new blue, adopted son, who also happens to have a bit of a destructive batman complex with Dr. Robotnik banished to the Mushroom Kingdom. Taming Sonic’s unreal, excessive energy with a dose of responsibility seems to be Tom’s main job as a parent. I suppose we can all relate to a point, of course most kids would only destroy the living room, not an entire downtown block of Seattle while playing superhero.
Of course, one can’t simply contain Dr. Robotnik, and he finds a way to send a signal out into the void from his lonely mushroom kingdom. That’s when Knuckles enters the equation. For those of you that don’t know Knuckles, Sonic is to Star-Lord as Knuckles is to Drax the Destroyer. Dr. Robotnik easily deceives the big, dumb Echidna and that’s when they team up in a quest to not only destroy Sonic, but to retrieve the most powerful gem in all the land.
When Tails sees Knuckles teaming up with Dr. Robotnik, that’s when Sonic’s two-tailed fox fanboi goes to work and teams up with his new best friend. Again, for those of you that don’t know Tails, Sonic is to Star-Lord as Tails is to Rocket Racoon (if he actually liked Star-Lord and wasn’t a jerk. OK, maybe this analogy isn’t working).
The hardest part of watching Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was catching up with the story of the movie. It’s been two years since I’ve seen the original and man, I forgot almost everything about, well, the entire cast that wasn’t Dr. Robotnik, Tom Wachowski, or Sonic. For that reason alone I’m going to suggest watching or re-watching the original Sonic the Hedgehog first because you’ll end up scratching your head over a lot of the sub-plots and characters. Longclaw? Agent Stone? Rachel? Wade Whipple? If any of those characters sound unfamiliar, you should reacquaint yourself.
Where Sonic the Hedgehog 2 shines is in its crazy animated action scenes and its humor. The show took us from skiing on the mountains of Siberia to exploring a trap-filled island temple in the middle of the ocean. Awesome. Speaking of awesome, has there been more perfect casting for Dr. Robotnik than Jim Carrey? Is there anything more joyful than hearing little kids in a movie theater laughing at Dr. Robotnik? Hard to say, but it felt like a moment of perfection to me.
If you’re looking for a good family film with a bit of that OG Gamer magic, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 will fill the bill — just brush up on Sonic 1 first.
- I’m not going to spoil the after credits surprise, but there’s definitely going to be a 3rd Sonic the Hedgehog movie, and based on my kids’ reaction, I need to brush up on my Sonic lore.
- Dr. Robotnik parodying “There were good people on both sides” — that’s some great writing!
- Mushroom Coffee. It’s a thing.