The plot of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is as entertaining as it is uncertain of itself.
The 2020 video game adaptation “Sonic the Hedgehog” shocked audiences with its surprising charm and appeal to younger audiences. Two years later its sequel, creatively titled “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” accomplishes much of the same but with less confidence than its predecessor.
Part wedding comedy, part “Indiana Jones” adventure and part Bruno Mars dance-off in Siberia, the film jumps in place and tone so radically that the story actively forgets to explain itself.
Plot devices are hardly explained and character motivations are only briefly touched on.
Despite having a more than two-hour runtime, the movie doesn’t thoroughly explain its world and characters, instead favoring some admittedly entertaining action sequences (albeit, with shotty green screen).
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” has action, it’s got comedy, it’s got a positive message and it’s entertaining. Unfortunately, the plot’s a muddled mess and there are just as many forgettable side characters as there are enjoyable ones.
Jim Carrey (“Truman Show,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) easily steals the show with his manic presence as the villainous Dr. Robotnik. In what may be his last on-screen appearance, Carrey somehow manages to reconnect to the cartoonishly nutty performances he became known for in the ‘90s — harnessing the same type of energy he had in films like “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “The Mask” and “Batman Forever.”
Of the two new characters brought in from the “Sonic” franchise, only one proves to be a noteworthy inclusion.
The brash and hotheaded Knuckles (Idris Elba) not only stands out as an intimidating force but has a personal journey of learning trust. It doesn’t hurt that the brute ignorance of the character leads to some of the funniest sequences in the film, similar to Drax in Marvel’s “Guardians” franchise.
On the other hand, there’s Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), the self-dedicated sidekick to Sonic, who comes closer to being a nuisance rather than a help. Given little backstory and even less development, the twin-tailed fox only serves as a surrogate for the writers to explain exposition to the audience.
At the end of the day, this sequel about the blue hedgehog faster than the speed of light isn’t too concerned with trying to make sense, it’s just trying to have fun — and that it absolutely accomplishes.
The jokes land more than they miss and Carrey’s presence is always a delight. The action can be really engaging as well, with surprisingly impressive cinematography.
For any fans of the Sonic games, they’ll undoubtedly be satisfied with this second go-around of the character, and if the ending is anything to go off of, he’s not running away anytime soon.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” rated PG, is out now in theaters.