Ever since video games took the world by storm with their beyond imaginative worlds and beautifully written narratives, Hollywood has been yearning to turn a profit by creating film adaptations of them. But just like most book adaptations, video games are usually far too extensive for the limited runtime of your standard film and since the player’s perspective captures the material, films generally fail to encapsulate even a majority of the wanted experience. The whole idea of video games is to create an atmosphere that feels almost infinite, to keep players/audiences from feeling tethered to realistic physics and instead immerse those looking for an escape from reality.
Time and time again, companies fail to truly emulate even 10% of what is expected, but they keep trying no matter how much the films derail from the source material. But there is something about Jeff Fowler’s Sonic film franchise that scratches that part of the brain that has been craving a video game adaptation for years. Perhaps it’s the fact that the film is genuinely written by those who love the character of Sonic and his friends, wanting to give casual and hardcore fans something authentic instead of handing in a cash grab of a sequel. In this latest installment of the series, Sonic finds himself desiring to be a hero to humanity, but he’s reminded, by his father figure Tom, that he is still a kid that needs to wait and learn through experience. His time to prove himself comes when Dr. Robotnik returns alongside a new and powerful partner, Knuckles, to search for an emerald containing mystical powers with the potential to destroy universes.
Right off the bat, it comes with great delight to say the film is quite possibly the best video game film we’ve been given in years. From the dialogue fitting our characters to the characterization that stays true to the source material. Josh Miller and Patrick Casey, write a screenplay brimming with hammy yet comical dialogue in almost every scene. It is obvious to see the writers wanted to create a sequel worth sitting through for 2 hours. Speaking of runtime, it may certainly come as a surprise, but the pacing for the film is actually worth mentioning. For a film squeezing in random and irrelevant scenes, it does a great job of mixing both the main plot and subplot splendidly. Although, I’d say this project would have benefited from a chunk of time cut for the sake of staying on track. Despite the somewhat disappointing subplot distracti
As for the performances, the cast knocks it out of the park completely. Jim Carrey, playing Dr. Robotnick, delivers an accurate portrayal yet again by incorporating his theatrical tidbit character quirks. Idris Elba on the other hand steals the show, comedically overshadowing the rest of the cast with his deadpan delivery which fits perfectly for his character, Knuckles. And of course, Ben Schwartz as the speedster lives up to the reputation, also it must be said, what a great touch to bring in Colleen O’Shaughnes to voice tails yet again. And what helps the film flourish and feel a bit more convincing is the beautifully executed animation. And although it may have been spotty at times, the precise work does not go unnoticed, it is absolutely pleasant to watch the cartoonish and wacky characters on screen.
Overall, Jeff Fowler’s sequel to the beloved character is actually carried out surprisingly strong, of course flaws are easily noticeable along the way, but it does not take away from the entertainment value in the slightest. And going into this film blind, it’s inevitable it would be layered with flaws, but the film subverts expectations by still staying true and genuine to the characters. Praise must be given to the writers, who have effectively created a video game adaptation that works. As a whole, I would say this film is made for almost all ages, a standard children’s film with a hint of authenticity and loaded with charming substance. Sonic 2 is a film that should be seen as a basis for video game adaptations, since this film held itself from becoming a worthless cash grab and instead became the warm film we see now. Whether you’re someone who enjoys the character Sonic in the slightest, checking this charismatic film will cleanse the palette seeking an adequate adaptation.