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‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ Is Blissfully Free Of Politics And Full Of Fun And Nostalgia

It surprises me to write this as much as anyone. Sonic the “Hedgehog 2” is an exceptionally fun movie. Watching this film made me want to be eight years old all over again. This adaptation is refreshing in its candor and simplicity, and devoid of modern tripe.

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I am pleased to report that “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a really great movie.

This, of course, surprises me more than anyone. Suppose you would have told me even five years ago that the great bright hope for family cinema would be a video-game movie and a Sonic the Hedgehog project, and I would have collapsed laughing.

Nevertheless, this film is fantastic, a nostalgic yet hip family fan project that is the rare beast in Hollywood these days: the non-political family feature. Instead of forcing progressive BS into a kids’ film, like when I try to hide the vitamin in my dog’s food, Paramount and the film’s creative team let us bask in the total color-saturated coolness of it all.

Sega Does What Nintendon’t

What a breath of fresh air this film is. What should interest culture and freedom lovers about these live-action Sonic the Hedgehog films is how they buck all the woke Hollywood trends, instead of doing the current-day thing by injecting a mother lode of leftist social commentary. The Sonic the Hedgehog films are 100 percent focused on serving and enticing fans instead of mocking or belittling them. Shocker.

The Sonic the Hedgehog movies are based on the long-running popular game series that started with Yuji Naka’s creation in the original 1991 game for the Sega Genesis. When the original trailer for the first live-action film debuted in April 2019, fans went apoplectic. The original computer-generated model for Sonic looked gosh-awful, like an unholy cross between an emaciated Alvin the Chipmunk and a Windex blue Care Bear. The trailer had failure written all over it, and it seemed to Sonic fans we would get another quick cash-grab like so many other Hollywood video-game failures.

But then something extraordinary happened. Film director Jeff Fowler announced he heard fan concerns. Instead of doing what Hollywood always does, which is ignore complaints and double down, Fowler said they would delay the movie a year so they could redesign the Sonic model and re-edit the entire movie.

This never happens in the movie biz. Redesigning a film with entirely new digital renders is time-consuming and drastically expensive, like filming a whole new movie. Yet Paramount did the right thing.

What was the result of this risky sacrifice? The first Sonic the Hedgehog film is a lovely and entertaining adventure, playing respectful homage to the video game series while providing a sizeable road-trip family buddy movie.

The film sales were tremendous, earning $319.7 million worldwide — at the start of the Covid lockdowns, no less — making it the sixth-highest-grossing film that year and the best-selling video-game adaptation ever. The film did wonders with audience appreciation, earning a certified fresh rating of 65 percent from critics and an astounding 93 percent rating with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

Re-Genesis?

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is an upgrade over the original in every way. The action is more robust, the jokes funnier, and the pathos is now believable.

The bland human characters have been sidelined, for the most part, instead emphasizing the fantastic original cast from the Sega Genesis games. The story is a massive improvement, featuring a return of the nefarious Doctor Robotnik, played by a terrific, scene-stealing 1990s-mode Jim Carrey, as he works with Sonic’s rival, the red echidna Knuckles, to take down the Blue Blur once and for all.

Knuckles, played by Idris Elba, effuses a British meets samurai-like sensibility and is incredibly endearing in his deadpan naivety. Ben Schwartz as Sonic is still great. We also see the return of timeless video-game character Tails, played by long-time Tails voice-over Colleen O’Shaughnessey. The casting choice is another sign of how much appreciation these filmmakers have for this franchise.

The only major criticism I have is the padded 122-minute run-time. About 20 minutes in the film seem tacked on and wholly disconnected from the rest of the film. The humans still don’t make much sense, and their additional scenes undermine the dramatic tone of the rest of the movie. It’s a minor nitpick, though.

Sonic Boom

It surprises me to write this as much as anyone. Sonic the “Hedgehog 2” is an exceptionally fun movie. Watching this film made me want to be eight years old all over again. This adaptation is refreshing in its candor and simplicity, and devoid of modern tripe.

Audience-goers should reward companies that take the time to respect them. Fans should welcome filmmakers who want to honor those stories they have cherished for so long.

This type of film is what parents are now begging Disney for, instead of the woke mush they insist on serving us. All people want are well-produced stories that raise up our favorite characters, bring us joy and curiosity, and make living life a much more enjoyable experience. It’s not a lot to ask for, but nowadays, that sort of thing in Hollywood is a courageous act.