This boldly imagined and over-stuffed sequel to the first Sonic movie begins on a misbegotten planet populated by mushrooms and a magnificently mustachioed villain Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey in what might be his final movie role, or at least that’s what he’s been telling anyone who’ll listen.
Meanwhile, our favorite pre-teen alien hedgehog has settled into an easy life with a family in Green Hills, somewhere in Washington State, maybe the Cascades, but not too far from Seattle, where, in the opening scenes, the blue flash takes on some dim-witted bank robbers.
They’ve commandeered a Brinks truck and are tossing small explosives at what appears to be half the Seattle police force. But Sonic outwits the gang that can’t shoot straight and thwarts their master plan, and then hightails it home to climb into bed. All in a night’s work for our diminutive hero.
His “parents” are played by James Marden and Tika Sumpter, who provide necessary lessons about friendship and teamwork, which come in handy as the story lays on a series of scrapes and narrow escapes that rival anything that might challenge Indiana Jones.
In fact, in one scene that borrows heavily from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Dr. Robotnik and his accomplice, Knuckles, another alien hedgehog, but one with evil on his mind, are trying to tunnel their way through an enchanted temple in search of an emerald that can turn its owner into a master of the universe, as magical emeralds, or Infinity Stones, always seem to do. Wink wink.
As the evil duo bobs and weaves among poison arrows and swinging swords, not to mention a giant spiked boulder, Robotnik quips, “I’m not dying here. It’s too derivative.” So, there’s enough humor to please adults while the kids marvel at Sonic’s astonishing ability to outwit, outplay and outlast Robotnik’s evil plans.
A new character makes his debut here, a sweet, twin-tailed fox from a distant planet named Tails. He helps Sonic win the day and recover the emerald. So, there’s that teamwork and friendship thing again, a lesson that goes down as easy as an ice cream sundae.
Let me put it right out there. If you’re looking for a movie for your kids to see, this might be just the ticket. But be warned, at two hours, Sonic 2 could be a bit overlong for very young kids.
And if you exit the theater feeling good about the world you just left, good news. There’s gonna be another sequel. Just not with Robotnik. His ego trips him up. And he goes the way of all cartoony villains. In a crushing defeat, but we assume with moustache intact.