Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Reviews Are Online, Check Out What Critics Are Saying About The Video Game Sequel

Sonic is back, and just like in the video game, the movie Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will introduce the sidekick Tails (voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey), as a number of familiar faces return for more Dr. Eggman-fighting fun. Ben Schwartz once again provides his vocal skills for the fast-footed titular mammal, joined once more by James Marsden as Tom, for a face-off against Jim Carrey’s Eggman and his newest accomplice Knuckles (Idris Elba) as they search for the Master Emerald. The critics’ reviews are in to help us decide if this sequel is one we’ll be hitting the theaters for. 

Along with James Marsden as Tom, Tika Sumpter returns as Maddie and Natasha Rothwell as Rachel. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will see Knuckles and Eggman (with right-hand man Agent Stone, played again by Lee Majdoub) team up to exact revenge on Sonic, while he and Tails try to keep the Master Emerald from falling into the wrong hands. Early reactions to the film — premiering in theaters Friday, April 8 — were positive, so let’s look at what the critics liked (or didn’t) about Sonic the Hedgehog 2

We'll start with Carlos Aguilar of The Wrap, who finds the sequel surprisingly satisfying, saying that Jim Carrey is allowed to be unfettered in his performance, and the film benefits from more animated characters and Carrey, and less James Marsden:

Proof that one can elevate a mostly disposable franchise investing in the casting and screenplay, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 doesn’t harbor any illusions of being a beacon of cinema, but within its department as 'the harmless option for family viewing during Spring Break,' it offers enough surprises to more pleasant than unbearable. Of course, the conclusion teases an upcoming third chapter, which hopefully doesn’t spoil the formula.

Peter Debruge of Variety says the cast has already proven a good match for the material, and director Jeff Fowler is able to successfully combine CG characters with their human co-stars. However, the runtime pushes such luck a bit too far:

An hour and a half would’ve been a perfectly fine run-time, whereas at two hours and change, Sonic 2 wears out its welcome well before it turns into yet another phone-it-in franchise entry — the kind where storms gather, a column of fluorescent light shoots up to the sky and everything becomes apocalyptic. We’ve come to expect that kind of world-threatening gloom from Marvel movies ... but it gets tiresome when practically every kiddie movie puts our existence in jeopardy. It would’ve plenty effective to focus just on keeping the Wachowski family together.

Justin Lowe of THR calls Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "frantic fun," saying it will appeal to family audiences seeking spring break distractions even if it doesn’t break new ground in the franchise:

As the evil scheming genius, Carrey relies on an array of facial tics (enhanced by an outsized mustache) and erratic body language characteristic of the expertly timed physical humor that he’s perfected over a series of similarly outlandish comedic roles. Meanwhile, Schwartz nails the animated hedgehog’s snarky, impudent attitude and unrestrained thirst for thrills, even if Sonic’s frequently frantic tone grows increasingly wearying. Together they set a furious pace that Marsden and Sumpter attempt to match, but Tom and Maddie consistently return to emphasizing the importance of friends and family as a method to manage Sonic’s youthful impulses.

Some critics have noted the film’s run time, which is 122 minutes, should have been closer to 90. Leslie Felperin of The Guardian rates the movie 3 out of 5 stars: 

There’s not much to spoil about Sonic the Hedgehog 2 because there’s not very much to say about it, other than it’s mildly amusing and reasonably competently assembled.

John Nugent of Empire rates the movie 2 stars out of 5. He says the Sonic sequel is really more of the same, which doesn't mean it's great, but it's also worth remembering how successful its predecessor was:

Steered by largely the same creative team as before, this is simply more fairly generic and forgettable family fodder: a Saturday-morning cartoon with a Hollywood budget, targeted primarily at an audience of eight-year-olds. It’s still colourful and kooky, the CG character designs are still jarringly cartoonish in their live-action surroundings, and the jokes are still, on the whole, bad.

Sean Keane of CNET, however, finds Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a delightful sequel that captures a childlike sense of adventure. However, he also notes the movie feels about 20 minutes too long, and it feels like the writers didn't really know what to do with James Marsden and Tika Sumpter:

Every sequence focusing on Sonic and pals is so visually delightful and thoroughly dazzling that it's hard not to revel in the CGI spectacle and pop culture references. As it goes on, the flick leans harder into imagery from the classic games (a scene referencing Sonic's inability to swim is a standout), which will undoubtedly delight nostalgic '90s fans and draw younger gamers into a retro odyssey.

It seems like critics enjoy some parts of this video game-inspired sequel, especially the addition of the other animated characters, and praise for Jim Carrey's performance makes that seem like as much of a live-action highlight as anything. 

If you want to check out Sonic the Hedgehog 2, you can catch it in theaters starting Friday, April 8. Be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to find more upcoming movies to spend some of those hard-earned rings on.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.