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Here's What The Rotten Tomatoes Reviews Are Saying About Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Following its theatrical debut in January of 2020, the first "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie ended up becoming the highest-grossing film adapted from a video game of all time. It was hardly surprising, then, when its producers at Paramount publicly announced that they had begun work on a second "Sonic" movie shortly after the premiere of the first. Now, the April 8 release of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is imminent, and viewers will soon get to find out for themselves whether the series' second installment lives up to the high standard set by its predecessor. Paramount currently has plans in place for a Sonic Cinematic Universe, so the development of a third "Sonic" movie and a couple of spinoffs may all be impacted by the performance of "Sonic 2."

Reviews for the film began surfacing online with its release about a week and a half away. On the whole, opinions are mixed, suggesting that, while existing "Sonic" fans can expect more of at least some of what they liked about the first "Sonic" movie, it may be less essential viewing for those with no interest in video games' fastest mascot. Here's what some of the reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes have to say.

Ratings for Sonic 2 are middling overall

On Rotten Tomatoes, the aggregate score for "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" from verified critics sits at a 64% at the time of this article's writing. Accordingly, most reviews fall somewhere on a spectrum between qualified praise and tempered dissatisfaction.

Time Out reviewer Olly Richards, for example, awarded "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" a total of two stars out of a possible five. Richards notably criticized some blatant product placement as one of the film's weak points. Furthermore, "most of the cast work hard to sell a script peppered with fart jokes and uninspired set pieces," Richards wrote, "but it's so chaotically plotted that it quickly becomes exhausting."

In his review for Variety, Peter Debruge was similarly critical of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2, singling out its two-hour runtime as feeling overly long, and accusing Paramount of rushing the movie's production. According to Debruge, "'Sonic 2' wears out its welcome well before it turns into yet another phone-it-in franchise entry."

Comparatively, author Carlos Aguilar felt more positive about the film, as reflected in his review for The Wrap. "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," Augilar wrote.

One of Sonic the Hedgehog 2's strengths is its cast

Like plenty of other aspects of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," opinions about its cast range from outright praise to slight condemnation. That said, even some reviewers that expressed a negative opinion about the movie as a whole had kind things to say about some of its cast members, indicating that this may well be one of the film's high points.

For example, in a moderately positive review of the film for The Hollywood Reporter, Justin Lowe singled out both Jim Carrey's performance as the villainous Dr. Robotnik and Ben Schwartz as the titular Sonic. "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," wrote Lowe.

In The Independent, Clarisse Loughrey praised Schwartz's enthusiasm for portraying Sonic while criticizing Carrey's performance. "He stands around trying to turn bits of exposition into jokes by gurning and over-enunciating every line," she said of Carrey.

Olly Richards, meanwhile, spoke more positively about the cast in his review for Time Out, praising Schwartz, Carrey, James Marsden, and Tika Sumpter alike. "The MVP, however, is Natasha Rothwell as Maddie's sister, Rachel, whose role is beefed up from the first film," wrote Richards.

Opinions on Sonic the Hedgehog 2's script are mixed

Another key component of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" about which a number of reviewers shared varying opinions is its script. Overall, some reviews singled out its writing as one of the film's strong suits, while others shared pointed critiques of its screenplay.

For Variety, Peter Debruge praised the "Sonic 2" screenwriting team's ability to adapt the plot of a video game into a film-ready story, singling out its first 90 minutes specifically as its most well-written stretch. However, he also described the sequel as taking "what was endearing about the original — in a word, personality — and render[ing] it generic in a hurry."

In his review for THR, Justin Lowe highlighted how the film's formulaic structure results in a rapid fire series of big action sequences. "These sequences sometimes underline the reliance on too much over-the-top cartoonish action," he wrote, "with borderline bonkers plot developments breathlessly deployed at a clip recalling the movie's video game origins."

The Wrap reviewer Carlos Aguilar, meanwhile, was kinder to the "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" script, though he repeatedly noted that it never transcends the fact that it's in service of financial return above all else. Compared to the first film, Aguilar described "Sonic 2" as "a similarly enjoyable cash cow with some welcomed, if far from revolutionary, idiosyncrasy."

Longtime "Sonic" fans and new viewers alike can shape their own opinions about "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" following its release on April 8.