Starring: Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Taika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Natasha Rothwell, and Shemar Moore. Featuring the voices of Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, and Colleen O’Shaughnessey.
Directed By: Jeff Fowler
Where i Watched It: Paramount Plus
English Audio Description: Yes
The Plot: Picking up almost right where the last film left off, we see Dr Robotnik (Carrey) is lost still in Mushroom hell, until a random encounter with a space creature named Knuckles (Elba) gives him the chance to return to earth to seek revenge on Sonic (Schwartz).
What Works: It’s a dumb film, but an enjoyable one. Basically, if you enjoyed the first one, there’s no reason you won’t enjoy the second. The sequel features some really stupid plot points, but the general vibe is still funny, and the addition of Knuckles and Tails should satisfy fans. plus, the set up for the third Sonic film will also do that.
Jim Carrey is still perfect as Robotnik. Elba is actually surprisingly good as Knuckles, considering they went the ay of grabbing a celebrity voice. For Tails, the lesser known o’Shaughnesseny voices, and also does a perfect Tails impression.
Sonic, if you enjoyed what Ben Schwartz brought the first time, is back with the same type of humor. There are some fun battles, a few jokes, and it’s not to be taken seriously. I didn’t go into this looking at it like I do films in diffferent genres trying to do different things. For what it is, i was well entertained.
What Doesn’t Work: it’s profoundly stupid, when you analyze it too much. The Emerald is barely explained, and seems just like a plot device more than anything else. You barely care about it. Then, we have all the humans who are not Robotnik who are roped into a useless wedding subplot that serves purpose only to retain Marsden and Sumpter in the franchise. Also, while the first film was a buddy adventure, this one goes more of the father/son route between Marsden and Sonic, totally switching up the vibe. And it doesn’t earn the payoff at the end, because Marsden spends most of the movie away from Sonic at a wedding.
The sequel repeats itself. It puts Sonic in another sketchy bar, just like the first film. in the first film, Sonic did that Quicksilver thing where time slowed down and everything just got rearranged so Sonic won a bar fight. Here, when the scene happens, Sonic acts like he’s got zero options, and just resigns himself to certain doom. Dude. You’ve been in this exact same scene before with no problem. Why are you refusing to do what your audience already knows you can do?
That’s part of what makes the film so frustrating, are a series of bad choices you have to overlook. They go a different direction with things preestablished from the first film, for no particular reason, and instead of finding something meaningful for Marsden to do, they create some bullshit wedding in Hawaii to send all the humans to, so every minor character from the first film can show up and help Sonic save the day. Except they do almost nothing in the final battle.
So if you didn’t like it, i won’t fight you on it either. I can totally see the other side of this. I just am able to enjoy dumb popcorn movies, even ones with glaring plot problems. And this one is glaring like the fucking sun.
The Blind Perspective: While I’m still learning a lot about the inner workings of audio description, I’m seeing more and more that franchise films with audio description just go ahead and use character names upon arrival in a scene. They just believe if you’re here for a sequel, you know who these people are. Despite the fact that this film picks up where the first left off, with Robotnik on Mushroom Planet, it fully commits to not using his name until someone else does. Which, I suppose is what the studio wanted. But if not, it’s certainly an odd choice, considering I doubt many people jumped into the second film without the first. And there’s really no shock value in waiting to reveal his identity.
Otherwise, the character descriptions for Knuckles and Tails are good, and the action scenes are well described. There’s a bunch of technology in the film that also gets some nice description.
Final Thoughts: It’s a family friendly video game adaptation. It was never going to be Oscar caliber, yet I think some people approach every film like it’s either Nomadland or it’s a dumpster fire. This is a dumpster fire, but a rather entertaining one in spite of some terrible choices. It is, in many ways, an anomaly.
Final Grade: B