After the surprisingly good time that was the first, well first live action, Sonic movie I had high hopes, but low expectations. I was completely wrong. Granted other review sites and reviewers kinda made it seem like it would be a standard case of diminishing returns. That’s not what happened here at all. So how do we talk about Sonic without spoiling the whole thing? I suppose the best approach would be to just say what we got, and what I would have done. So what we got for a starting scene is The Blue Justice saving the day in downtown Seattle.
It was very reminiscent of the Sonic Adventure titles. No direct parallels to any specific part of those games, but lots of nods and shots that are straight lifted in a fantastic way. That’s something this movie excelled at. It has Easter eggs and slight nods everywhere. Not just to the Sonic video games, but different movies and TV shows as well as practically anything that would be Sonic adjacent. His quips and dialogue come out naturally. Like he knows he is quoting Indiana Jones. He knows you know it too. Sonic will often just speak to himself, or the situation, if nobody is around. This time around they didn’t have the unenviable task of figuring out how to make a Sonic movie. This time they have the biggest pieces already set up. Especially seeing how the last movie’s post credits scene introduced a certain someone.
Now that’s where I would have started the film. Not that it matters they get to this point rather quickly. This time Tails story parallels Sonic’s arc from the first movie. Awkward and searching for a friend. Tails is here looking to make a connection. Just like in the video games he has no bigger part aside from trying to discover himself, his purpose. Knuckles well ya know.
Knuckles fills the gaps in the narrative from Sonic 1. Like what’s with the owls, why Earth, and general just plot exposition with an explosive attitude. Tails adds his own little bits on how he knew about Sonic, and that he specifically knew of Knuckles coming to mess up Sonic’s day. All of these elements work on their own. So this is why many people seem to be upset about the human characters B plot in the movie. It’s actually well done. They found a good way to remove them from the bulk of the action while keeping them relevant to the outcome of the movie. In this regard I wouldn’t be able to think of a better use for them myself. It all flowed very naturally. Straight up to the final showdown.
With obvious references and fanboy reactions not taken into account the climax worked. Closing itself off in a very satisfying yet open ended way. Now with Jim Carrey’s recent announcement about retiring it’s uncertain if he would return for a 3rd movie. If he declines then Paramount could easily just make lower budget straight to streaming movies or series with a new cast of sound alikes. Just even if none of that happens this movie is fantastic for what it is. A feel good movie about family, friendship, and believing in yourself. It’s about learning to help others because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want the attention or the power. In fact I’m gonna bring out the star system here. Let’s break it down clinically but with some pizzazz.
Seriously it’s super hard to not just gush about the plot and all the Easter Eggs in this movie. It had easily 3 or 4 mainly plotlines going at any given time and for it’s climax they start crossing over and tying up things you wouldn’t have even thought about. There was a whole second movie that would have happened if things went just a little differently. One you don’t know about until halfway through the film. It’s very well written so it gets one star. Scratch that, chaos emerald.
Actors can only do so much with what lines they are given. The plot is solid, but a fair amount of dialogue is a bit rushed. Jim Carrey absolutely kills it. Everyone else is bringing their A game here. That said I found myself often rolling my eyes at lazy awkward script choices. As fun as the bombastic visuals were. If they cost the dialogue to be condensed for run time then they made a bad call.
Visuals on the other hand, fantastic. The set design, cinematography, and all those loving little Easter Eggs makes it about perfect for a Sonic in our world kind of movie. Plenty of locations that either immediately were recognizable from the games, or had enough going on that they could easily be imagined in a Sonic game. Which oddly they haven’t made a tie in title.
Oddly enough this movie had very little music in it. A bold choice seeing how iconic music is to the Sonic franchise as a whole. Here it’s just generic movie mood music or a very odd mix of licensed songs that kinda… sucked. The songs were okay but didn’t fit a Sonic movie. So no emerald for score or sound direction.
Finally the overall package as a whole, yeah it gets an emerald here. I enjoyed this movie a lot. It’s a solid sequel. It’s a good Sonic movie. It’s a fantastic family film. It’s a lot of things honestly. More than any other praise I can give this movie I’ll be putting it on in the background often and for everything from work to sleepy times. It’s comfortable. It’s a rare movie that can become an instant classic to me. This movie is one such film. With enough going on to be rewatchable and jokes that will probably always land no matter how many times I pass out listening to it. It’s well worth a purchase be it digital or disk. As for theaters? If you got a group going or a casual date night in a long term relationship then sure. I’ll enjoy it more on the couch, in my PJs, covered in snacks than in a theater, but it’s still a solid movie for a sticky floor cinema.
A comfortable 3/5 emeralds. Yet still one of my favorite movies. Sometimes thems the breaks. I can like something and still acknowledge it’s faults. Especially if you take 1 and 2 as a whole this Sonic story is a must watch. Not just for Sonic fans, but anyone wanting something relatable and fresh with a work safe tone. I’ll say it, it’s Disney movie good without all the singing.