A surprise card in an industry that was beginning to see a certain virus as something other than the flu, the blue hedgehog is back at full speed to prove that the next world is finally like before. Does Sonic 2 measure up? It will mostly depend on your expectations.
Two million admissions in France and the highest-grossing video game adaptation title on the big screen in the United States made Sonic a hero producers could count on to get rich. And if his career was somewhat interrupted by the Coronavirus crisis at the start of 2020, his return, two years later, intends to show that his success was no accident. And to put the odds on his side, Sonic 2 multiplies everything by two.
So we find the blue hedgehog playing the heroes in the streets, without really worrying about the responsibilities that go with it. But when Robotnik returns with Knuckles to get his hands on an emerald with overpowering powers, Sonic will have to learn to work as a team with Tails to save humanity.
Sonic at full throttle
The trailers made it their main marketing argument: this time Sonic and Robotnik will no longer be the only escapees from the world of SEGA video games. With the arrival of Tails and Knuckles, the big-screen Sonic saga affirms its expansion to brush us in the direction of the thorns. Two additions that allow our hero to confront more of his mythology while excluding the clumsy buddy movie side between a CGI creature and an actor in need of projects.
A proposal closer to pixels, but no less cynical since, obviously, it comes with a big slice of fan-service. Prerogative of any adaptation that respects itself and does not want to look further than the end of its wallet. Therefore, if you appreciate the path that the hedgehog has taken throughout its 31 years of life on consoles (with its ups and downs), you will get your money’s worth as the film goes so far as to wring the the most incredible video game ideas. In other words, the feature film will remind us of the dark hours of video games that we would have preferred to forget until its post-credits scene that we saw coming from the announcement of the project.
Less risk, more money
For the record, know originally that Sonic was created for purely commercial purposes, SEGA seeking to compete with Nintendo’s plumber with a mascot that would pay off big. When the American studios took over, the match against the mustachioed man in overalls was over. At the level of the games, the winner breaks bricks and question cinema, he took one. The blue racing car only had to try its luck on the big screen. And there, jackpot!
We talk a lot about big money, but it is clear that this sequel, like its predecessor, has absolutely nothing to do with breaking the mold in which the vast majority of current large entertainment machines are made. He would almost come to assume his lack of originality by serving us exactly the same soup two years later, just adding more characters and more Jim Carrey histrionics in a one-man show. Number two obliges, so we just push the sliders and too bad if they point in the wrong direction.
Worse, not only does the feature film look like all the others, but it comes to completely ape the boss of the Hollywood game: Marvel. Whether in its plot, its design or even in its dialogues, the Marvel spirit is so omnipresent that it becomes embarrassing. That Marvel has become the standard of entertainment for any production that wouldn’t want to spend more than five minutes thinking about its project says a lot about the state of Hollywood today, however much we appreciate babies. by Kevin Feige (which is the case here).
Obviously, we can be satisfied with this Sonic 2 by telling ourselves that it is neither better nor worse than another and that we are not having such a horrible time in front of it, thanks in particular to a few good scenes. Especially since the main target, children, will undoubtedly find this visual Happy Meal greedy and crunchy. But we deserve better than an interchangeable product that doesn’t have so much to do with making an impression as paving the way for a license that will pay big dividends to its producers every two years while playing with our love for a character. Sonic should make us dream, for the moment he mainly makes us pay.