REVIEW: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ brings classic Sega video game character and friends back to the big screen in new adventure

Apr 8, 2022, 10:02 AM
Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2....
Knuckles (Idris Elba) and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2.
(Ben Schwartz)

SALT LAKE CITY — It feels like longer than two years has passed since the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie, based on the classic Sega video game franchise, set box office records and gave us a return to 1990’s-era Jim Carrey.

That’s probably because Sonic was essentially the last big box office draw–debuting mid-February 2020–before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force a few weeks later and shut theaters and Hollywood down for months.

Now, after all that’s transpired since then, here we are again with pretty much everyone from the first film back for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, along with a few other popular characters from the Sonic-verse making their big-screen debut.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 continues the adventures of the ever-optimistic, fast-running, fast-talking hedgehog (voiced again by Ben Schwartz).  Because he’s an alien from another world, Sonic is supposed to be lying low in Green Hills, Montana, living with the town sheriff Tom (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter).

But, hoping to be a hero, Sonic will sneak out at night and use his speed to try and stop bad guys in bigger cities like Seattle, attempts that don’t always go as well as he hopes.

When Tom and Maddie head to Hawaii for Maddie’s sister’s destination wedding, leaving the mischievous Sonic home by himself, that just happens to be when Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik—who Sonic defeated in the first film–shows back up.

This time, Robotnik is accompanied by a large red Echidna named Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba).  Knuckles’s species are sworn enemies of Sonic’s species and Knuckles, who conveniently has giant spiked knuckles, is chasing after a powerful emerald that he believes Sonic can lead him to.

But Sonic has some help of his own in the form of a clever, tech-savvy fox named Tails (voiced by Colleen O’Shaughnessey, who also voices the character in the video games), and the two must see if they can get to the emerald before their foes, and become they heroes they hope to be.


If you liked the first Sonic movie–and I really did–Sonic 2 is pretty much more of the same kind of kid-friendly action and humor. My kids loved it and I loved that they enjoyed it.  It took me a few minutes to get back into the world, but I did eventually settle in and enjoy the movie for what it was.

Visually, the character animation and some of the action scenes were as good as they’ve ever been, particularly during a fun snowboard chase down a nearly-vertical mountain slope.  The only time I ever thought about Sonic, Knuckles or Tails as CG characters were a few times when they had to physically interact with the human characters and it didn’t look QUITE right.

As someone who played the original Sega Genesis, there was some nostalgic fun with gaming Easter eggs tossed in for fans to spot. I mostly noticed the music and sound effects.

Marsden and Sumpter are still likeable in their roles and Adam Pally is well-cast again as the goofy sheriff’s deputy, though he doesn’t get nearly as much screen time in this outing. Natasha Rothwell and Shemar Moore steal a couple of scenes as Sumpter’s sister Rachel and her fiancee Randall.

I’ve long been a fan of Ben Schwartz, as well as 1990’s-era Jim Carrey physical comedy, though Carrey didn’t seem quite as funny to me this time like he did in the first movie.


If you are not a fan of Schwartz or Carrey, then this could be a long two hours for you.  Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is rated PG, officially for action, some violence, rude humor, and mild language but it’s safe for all ages.

There is one mid-credits scene that sets up a third movie, so keep that in mind before leaving at the beginning of the credits.


Of all the hedgehog-centric movies I’ve ever seen, this is definitely in the top-2.

Kidding aside, I liked what writers , and came up with.  It honestly felt at times like I was watching a video game play out (quests, chases, boss battles, etc.) and considering this wasn’t a plot-heavy video game series in the first place, that deserves some credit.

Nailing the casting on the human characters with likeably and funny actors has also been a key to making this movie series much more watchable for me as a parent.

Andy’s Final Rating:  TWO & A HALF out of FOUR stars


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is playing only in theaters.  No streaming options at this time.

Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Movie Reviews

Javon "Wanna" Walton (left) as Sam Cleary and Sylvester Stallone (right) as Joe Smith in SAMARITAN,...

REVIEW: Stallone’s ‘Samaritan’ stops short of superhero movie success

Sylvester Stallone's latest movie SAMARITAN sees him as a garbage man that a teenage neighbor believes to be a superhero in hiding. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says there are some cool moments that action and superhero movie fans will enjoy, but overall thinks it's good that the movie is only streaming on Prime Video and not in theaters.
1 month ago
(L to R) Thira ‘Aum’ Chutikul as Commander Kiet, Popetorn ‘Two’ Soonthornyanaku as Dr Karn,...

REVIEW: ‘Thirteen Lives’ movie dramatically tells real rescue story of Thai soccer team from flooded cave

In THIRTEEN LIVES, a true story-based movie on Amazon Prime about the rescue of a teenage soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand, director Ron Howard manages to pull off the feat of balancing truth with drama without turning it into a documentary. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it was an emotionally-engaging movie that showcases the triumph of human effort and spirit when we work together to solve a problem.
2 months ago
(L to R) B.J. Novak as Ben Manalowitz and Boyd Holbrook as Ty Shaw in VENGEANCE, directed and writt...

REVIEW: Dark comedy ‘Vengeance’ goes deeper than easy stereotypes for laughs in murder mystery movie

The death of a one-time fling draws B.J. Novak's writer/podcaster character Ben to West Texas to investigate and hopefully turn the story into a career-making podcast in Focus Features' VENGEANCE. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says this dark comedy has some great twists and very funny moments, while also going beyond stereotypes to create real characters.
2 months ago
Michael Cera as “Hank” and Samuel L. Jackson as “Jimbo” in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank...

REVIEW: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ remakes an adult comedy classic into an animated movie for modern-day kids

A kids animated movie based on the irreverent 1970's film BLAZING SADDLES? That's exactly what PAWS OF FURY: THE LEGEND OF HANK is, right down to having Mel Brooks voice a character. A friendly dog ventures to the land of cats to become a samurai, and finds himself protecting a village that doesn't even want him there. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says its got a great voice cast but keeping your expectations for the movie in check will help you enjoy it more.
2 months ago
The Gray Man (2022) Ryan Gosling as Six. Cr. Stanislav Honzik/Netflix © 2022...

REVIEW: ‘The Gray Man’ is a violent but fast-paced throwback to action/spy movies of the past, with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling chasing each other around the globe

The new action thriller movie THE GRAY MAN, from AVENGERS ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo, sees Chris Evans' sadistic mercenary chasing Ryan Gosling's on-the-run CIA agent all around the globe to get back some stolen information. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's a love letter to spy and action movies of the past, and is very entertaining at times, though it is also quite violent.
2 months ago
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND...

REVIEW: Portman, Bale help make ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ more than just another goofy adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, the 29th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sees Chris Hemsworth's Thor have to deal with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) using his formerly-destroyed mystical hammer and possessing his same power while trying to stop a villain who can kill gods. KSL's Andy Farnsworth says it's another goofy take on the character that has some very funny moments, but may not be to everyone's tastes.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
REVIEW: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’ brings classic Sega video game character and friends back to the big screen in new adventure