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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

also known as “Sonic 2,” “Sonic the Movie 2,” “Ežiukas Sonic 2,” “Ježek Sonic 2,” “Ježko Sonic 2,” “Kirpi Sonic 2,” “Nhím Sonic 2,” “Sonic 2 - Il film,” “Sonic 2, le film,” “Sonic 2. Szybki jak błyskawica,” “Sonic 2: La Película,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for action, some violence, rude humor, and mild language.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Average (somewhat offensive)
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Kids • Teens
Genre:
Superhero Sci-Fi Action Adventure Comedy
Length:
2 hr. 2 min.
Year of Release:
2022
USA Release:
April 8, 2022 (wide release)
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Relevant Issues

Importance of courage and bravery

The true definition of a hero

Importance of family

Evil scientist

Extraterrestrial superhero

Movies based on video games

Robots and robotic drones

Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation Copyright, Paramount Pictures Corporation
Featuring Ben SchwartzSonic the Hedgehog (voice)
Jim CarreyDr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik
Idris ElbaKnuckles the Echidna (voice)
Collen O'Shanussy (Colleen O'Shaughnessey) … Miles “Tails” Prower (voice)
James MarsdenTom Wachowski
Tika SumpterMaddie Wachowski
See all »
Director Jeff Fowler
Producer Sega Sammy Group [Japan]
Marza Animation Planet [Japan]
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation. Trademark logo.Paramount Pictures Corporation

Prequel: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020)

Ever since Sonic defeated Dr. Robotnik and banished him to the Mushroom Planet things have been relatively quiet in Green Hills. So, Sonic has been sneaking out at night as his alias, “The Blue Justice,” fighting crime in Seattle to prove to his friend/guardian Tom (James Marsden) that he is grown up and responsible and ready to take on new challenges. However, Tom believes Sonic still has some growing up to do before then. Well, when opportunity presents itself…

Meanwhile, on the Mushroom Planet, Dr Robtonik has been living in solitude for almost an entire year, plotting his revenge and trying to find a way to return to Earth. When he is finally able to open a portal, however, a mysterious creature, an echidna named Knuckles (Idris Elba) appears. Knuckles notices a blue quill in Robotnik’s hand. “Where did you get that?” he exclaims. “I’ll tell you, but only if you help me return to Earth,” Robotnik retorts.

Fast-forward a couple days. Sonic is left in charge of the house for the first time ever, when Robotnik appears, alongside Knuckles. Knuckles attacks Sonic demanding to know the whereabouts of the Master Emerald, a jewel that can turn thoughts into reality. Sonic states he has no knowledge of the Emerald. As Knuckles is trying to beat the information out of Sonic, a creature from another dimension, named Tails (Collen O'Shanussy) rescues him.

Sonic and his new friend Tails must race to protect the Emerald, lest untold evil unfold upon the good citizens of Earth and the whole galaxy itself.

Rare is the day where I can write a movie review and state that a sequel actually improves upon its predecessor. More often than not it seems these days, Hollywood filmmakers are firing out sequels to simply cash-in on the fanbase as quickly as they can before the fanbase loses interest and moves on to something else.

I say all this because this is the question that lingers in my mind at this very moment. It’s only been two years since the first film came out. That’s rather quick in my opinion. The excitement, the ingenuity and intrigue I felt walking out of the first film were missing this time around.

Don’t get me wrong, all the technical aspects from the first film made their way into the second. The CGI is still as strong as the first film. The action is still relatively strong (and frequent, which I’ll mention later). However, the performances by a few of the lead roles, particularly by Jim Carrey, felt restrained and even lackluster, as many other critics have pointed out (yes, Jim Carrey was a bit crass in the first film, but this time he was barely humorous at all). James Marsden also has a much smaller role this time around, which is sad, as the chemistry between him and Ben Schwartz (who plays Sonic) was by far a comedic gold mine in the first film. I commend Idris Elba’s performance as the voice of Knuckles.

To the film’s credit, though, what “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” has more in abundance than the previous film is strong, wholesome themes that can be shared with the entire family: themes regarding courage, family, bravery, and the true definition of a hero. In the first film, we received only small doses of these messages, if any. In the second film however, I feel that some of the main characters receive these messages loud and clear.

Content of Concern

VIOLENCE: Heavy (but in a cartoonish-like manner mostly). A character is blown away by an electric shock. We see some extraterrestrials get knocked out. We witness a police chase with an armored vehicle down a busy city street. We witness a few fist fights between Knuckles and Sonic. A character is hit by a car. Two characters’ hands break from a strong handshake. We see a dead fish’s head cut off. Two characters are almost thrown into a fire. There is a chase down a mountain. A character is shot by a missile and knocked unconscious for a long period. A large amount of snow knocks people over. Other characters are knocked out. Someone makes a threat about squeezing the life out of someone for lying to them. Someone is tasered. Characters are seen having to dodge a ton of obstacles (spears, boulders, etc.). Two characters pass out underwater. There is an extended action sequence with a robot. There is a car crash.

PROFANITY: “My G*d” (3), “Oh my G*d” (4), “G*d,” “Snow My G*d,” “Oh Lord,” “H*ll,” “H*ll hath no fury”

VULGARITY: “A**-hole,” “Piece of shitaki,” “Holy sherbet,” “Scr*wed,” “Son of a…” (cut off), “groin” (3). Someone tells someone their breath smells like goat poo.

SEX: A character asks about the identity of someone “who waxed her—” (without finishing the sentence, but the rest of the sentence is implied). Two characters kiss.

NUDITY: Male characters are seen shirtless during a volleyball match. Sonic mentions to someone that they should get sunbathed in someplace “embarrassing.”

ALCOHOL: One scene takes place at a bar. A couple characters are seen drinking at a wedding.

OTHER: Sonic lies, sneaks out and causes major property damage to a city just to prove he can be a hero. He also is seen, in one scene, partying at the house while left in charge, making a large mess in the process. There is also a brief somewhat frightening scene during Dr. Robotnik’s initial return to Sonic’s house that may scare younger children. The pop song “Uptown Funk” is played, but the dirtiest portions are cut out. A character says a blade almost “cut his… mustache…”

Lesson

I believe the greatest lesson to draw from “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is the theme of what it truly means to be a hero.

Real heros, as we know, don’t wear a cape, or spandex, or even a symbol. Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. Some serve in the military. Some serve as frontline workers. Some serve as volunteers. Whatever role a hero takes, it is one of the greatest honors a Christian is called to. A hero is called to serve and do what is right in God’s eyes. The Bible has many heroes and is clear about what is means to be a hero.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. —John 15:13

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. —Romans 15:1-2

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” —Acts 20:35

Final Thoughts

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” may not be the strongest of the two films, but it certainly isn’t a boring film either. As I said the cinematic quality is still relatively as strong as the first (apart from a few elements). Still, I can’t help but wonder if the crass language that was added in this film (that wasn’t in the first film) could have been taken out and replaced with wittier dialog and humor instead, or more comedic moments for Carrey, or more screen time for Marsden. I walked away hoping with just one word on my mind exiting the theater and that was the word “want.” I WANTED more.

Keeping this in mind, as a reviewer and certainly as a Christian, I’m not personally recommending this film. If you do decide to take the young ones, please keep in mind the content I have listed, particularly the language and the violence that is included. Overall, as a teacher myself, grading-wise, I’d give the film’s entertainment value a B-.

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Sex: Mild
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Mild
  • Occult: None

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive— It’s game on for “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” the sequel to the 2020 video game film adaptation of Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog. Featuring the appropriate tagline “Welcome to the next level,” the PG-rated pic is a madcap joyride that espouses responsibility, friendship and family. But it also has some prickly parts in the form of some light foul language and strong action that may scare small children.

After settling in Green Hills, Montana, the blue hedgehog Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) sees himself as a hero as he foils a bank robbery that causes a large amount of collateral damage.

Although he is really just a kid, , Sonic wants more freedom, and his adoptive parents Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) agree to leave him home while they attend a wedding in Hawaii.

“Sonic, I love that you want to help make a difference” Tom tells him. “But you’re being reckless. Pretending to be Batman?”

Sonic replies: “Blue Justice! Trademark pending!”

Tom then shoots back: “You’re still just a kid. Trust me, there will come a moment when your power will be needed. But you don’t choose that moment, that moment chooses you.”See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Eric Tiansay (USA)
Positive— Having just seen this film, I must say that this was a very impressive enjoyable visually stunning sequel. A superb follow up to the 2020 film. Jim Carrey and James Marsden played their parts to perfection. Ozzie the Golden Retriever appealed to the dog lover in me. The voice of Miles “Tails” Prower was spot on. The character of Wade Whipple was hilarious and kind of reminded me of myself, when he hears that the Master Emerald turns thoughts into reality, he says it’s powers are “like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters” I laughed so hard because I would have said exactly the same thing, thinking about the classic 1984 Film. Then later in the film when Dr. Robotnik gets his hands on the Master Emerald and forms a giant robot of himself, Wade seeing this reaffirms his earlier thought saying “I knew it! Just like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!” I couldn’t stop laughing at the cool Geeky goodness, I would have said exactly the same thing.

Good Moral Lessons are presented in this film such as Sonic being told that to be a Hero he must not place others in danger, take responsibility and be patient for the right opportunity to present himself for him to be a Hero. The importance of Family, Friendship, teamwork and cooperation are demonstrated.

Sonic also displayed the teaching of Jesus “Love your enemies” and the wisdom of Proverbs 24:17-18 which says “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him” (ESV). By saving the life of his enemy Knuckles in the underwater temple after fighting him a few moments earlier. Sonic and Knuckles then join forces to defeat Dr. Robotnik which reminds me of the Christian prayer “Turn Enemies into Friends” which I heard several years ago. Overall this is a superb sequel, funny, witty, and sets up the plot for a 3rd installment of the Sonic Film Franchise.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jeff Andrew Winters, age 42 (USA)

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