In the early part of a decade, the film industry often tries to morph & find out what the aesthetic for the coming years will be. While this often results in groundbreaking achievements in cinema, it can also produce some duds. 2022 has been no exception. While Morbius may be the frontrunner for the worst movie of the year, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 could be a dark horse.
Many critics consider Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to be superior to the first Sonic movie. But if that’s the scale we’re judging it on, we may need to reevaluate our entertainment standards. The film stars Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation fame as the voice of Sonic. To beef up the billing on this sequel, Idris Elba was cast to voice Knuckles the Echidna.
The live-action cast of the movie features James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, and Jim Carrey as the villain Dr. Robotnik. Despite Sonic the Hedgehog 2 having an A-list cast & fleshed-out cinematic universe, the movie has been generally lambasted by film critics. What do they have to say about this kids’ movie? Let’s find out.
Good video game, bad movie
With a sixty-seven percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has gotten fairly favorable reviews from the movie-going public. However, critical reviews can often make or break a film’s reputation, and those who write about film haven’t been too kind to Sonic the Hedgehog 2. What’re their qualms? For starters, the story itself.
David Jenkins of Little White Lies wrote, “There’s a joke where people say, ‘This film’s plot could’ve been written on the back of a napkin!’ Yet for Sonic 2, a napkin seems like the equivalent of a multi-volumed antiquarian tome, as there is so little of substance to this depressingly rote endeavor.” Maybe it goes to show that audiences are more drawn in by spectacle.
Bilge Ebiri shared a similar sentiment, writing, “It’s a lot more like the movie we were worried the first one was going to be: baggy, bloated, and only sporadically engaging.” That’s pretty bad considering many see this sequel as an improvement compared to the first movie. Not only was the narrative disliked, but many saw this film as strictly a business venture.
Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press said, “Though it starts off promisingly enough with Carrey’s character marooned on a ‘piece of shiitake’ mushroom planet, it soon becomes evident that this outing is a soulless attempt to up the stakes and cash in.” It seems true that in the age of Marvel & Disney, nothing sells quite like a sequel.
Is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 worth seeing?
Even though critics like John Nugent of Empire dismissed this video game movie as, “simply more fairly generic and forgettable family fodder,” there were those who saw promise in Sonic 2. Olly Richards of Time Out thought, “There’s plenty of on-screen talent involved here, but they’re all far better than the material.”
Richards could see the writing on the wall, adding, “Hopefully, the all-but-certain Sonic 3 will level-up the script.” Todd Gilchrist of AV Club found the script pleasing enough & said, “Working with what feels like a larger budget and fewer origin story obligations, returning screenwriters Pat Casey, Josh Miller, along with franchise newcomer John Whittington create a globe-trotting adventure.”
Gilchrist thought that Sonic the Hedgehog 2, “touches on fun ideas for viewers of all ages, even if the film is too long and jarring to stick the landing.” Peter Debruge from Variety said, “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.”
While critics may not be crazy about Sonic 2, they can at least realize it’s not made for them. Soren Anderson of the Seattle Times wrote, “So it goes, with Sonic, fleet of foot and quick of tongue, racing from one dire situation to another. It’s exhausting, but the makers knew how to tailor it to its game-mad audience.” In other words, it’s for the kids.
Even though it’s getting fairly positive audience scores, from a critical perspective, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 may be the worst movie of the year. A big-budget & top-tier cast couldn’t prevent the film from being disliked, even though it fared well at the box office. Which film do you think is the worst of 2022? Let us know in the comments!