Tag Archives: Jim Carrey

My Thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)

*note: this review was originally published for subscribers on Patreon

*warning: minor spoilers below for Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Of all the surprises of 2020 (the pleasant ones at least), Sonic the Hedgehog was the most unexpected. I went into that movie with very low expectations and was completely blown away. Consequently, with a larger universe being hinted at, I didn’t hesitate to go see Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in theaters.

Picking up sometime after the events of the first film, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees the speedy blue hedgehog struggling to make a life in Green Hills with his adoptive family the Wachowskis. Sonic wants to be a hero, but Tom reassures him that the moment his powers are needed will find him eventually. The moment comes when Dr. Robotnik finds his way back to Earth….along with Knuckles the echidna, who has a long-standing grudge of his own against Sonic.

For the most part I enjoyed Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (though I viewed the film in less than ideal conditions, i.e. a noisy theater). As with the first film, Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik remained one of the best parts, though I think I liked his performance in the first film slightly more than this one. You really get a feel for how power hungry the mad doctor really is as the film goes on. It’s kind of frightening actually, especially when the film reaches the climax. On a related note, I absolutely loved how Stone went right back to fawning over Dr. Robotnik the instant he returned. Stone is that rare example of a henchman whose loyalty never waivers, even when it’s clear the villain does not care about them.

Idris Elba as Knuckles is my next favorite part of the movie. Knuckles is my new favorite character, even more than Sonic and Tails. Knuckles initially seems poised to be just as much as villain as Dr. Robotnik, but it turns out the echidna is far more complex than he first appears. I’m very excited to see what the spin-off series with Knuckles looks like. One thing is for sure, Idris Elba was the perfect casting choice for Knuckles, his voice fits the character perfectly.

Now, all that being said, this movie does have some significant flaws, ones that I could not ignore. While the main story with Sonic trying to beat Robotnik to the Master Emerald is pretty good, the side plot of the Wachowskis attending a wedding is just…well, it’s kinda dumb and it doesn’t really fit all that well with the rest of the story. But, for that matter….parts of Sonic’s story aren’t that good either. The pace of the story is very uneven and the side plot in Siberia….ugh. I feel like this story could’ve been better fleshed out, or more refined. 

At any rate, at least these bad moments don’t overwhelm the good parts of the film. One other good thing I can say about this film is that the animators have definitely nailed the ability to bring the video game characters to life. The animation on Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails all looks fantastic. And having Colleen O’Shaughnessey reprise her role as Tails in the films, well that’s just cool!

The last thing I want to mention is that the mid-credits scene is definitely worth waiting around for. While I didn’t think it was possible for the story of Sonic to grow any larger once Tails and Knuckles were introduced, this scene definitely proved me wrong. It absolutely sets up a plot for the third film, one that I’ll likely end up seeing in theaters too. All I’ll say is, if you know anything about the plots of the Sonic the Hedgehog games, then this mid-credits scene will make you scream!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is far from the perfect movie, but I did enjoy it. This series has continued to surprise me and I’m looking forward to rewatching this one.

See also:

My Thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

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My Thoughts on: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Sonic the Hedgehog occupies what might be a completely unique position in my mind. This is, as far back as I can remember, the first time I’ve ever gone to see a movie because I felt I owed it to the filmmakers to do so. Allow me to explain: remember when the original trailer for this film came out and we were all horrified by Sonic’s appearance? And then, to the shock of all, the studio withdrew the film and actually fixed it? That NEVER happens, and since the studio was so thoughtful as to actually listen to our wishes, I felt I had no choice but to repay them by going to see the film in theaters.

That turned out to be a great decision because Sonic the Hedgehog is a lot of fun! The story doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the comedy is actually pretty funny (that’s saying a lot from me because I’m very picky about the comedy I like). James Marsden made a great foil for Sonic, and aside from one or two awkward moments there really weren’t any moments I didn’t like.

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Aside from Sonic himself (more on that in a moment), my favorite part of this film has to be Jim Carrey. He was made for a movie like this and throws himself into the role of Dr. Robotnik with everything he has. Seriously, Carrey’s performance had me in stitches from the moment he arrived onscreen. If the clearly teased sequel happens, then I really hope we see more of Carrey’s Robotnik.

The other part of the film I really liked is Sonic. I was admittedly doubtful that the speedy hedgehog could ever be realized in a live-action movie, but after overhauling the design it works really well. Sonic looks just enough like his video game counterpart to satisfy longtime fans of the video games, while also looking like a living, breathing creature that found its way to Earth.

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And that leads me to one point that I do have a problem with: the story of how Sonic got to Earth. Now, I understand that the story needs an explanation of how we got to this point, but that prologue feels extremely rushed, with a lot of exposition crammed into what felt like five minutes or less. Perhaps a sequel will delve into this part of the story a bit more, because I have a lot of questions regarding how and why Sonic has his powers and the film didn’t really answer them (I should note I have never played any of the Sonic games). These aren’t the only pacing issues the story has, but it is the part that bothered me the most.

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And speaking of sequels, I am completely excited to see one after seeing the mid-credits scene. When that scene came on, that’s the first time in a long time that I’ve heard a there burst into applause and cheers. They could really be on to something here with a Sonic film franchise and I never thought I’d say this but I want to see what happens next!

Defying my worst fears, Sonic the Hedgehog is a cute movie that makes for a great time. While the story has a few pacing issues, Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik makes up for most of the issues, and the hints of what may come in a sequel leave me eager for more. If you go in with an open mind, you are definitely going to enjoy this movie.

Let me know what you think about Sonic the Hedgehog in the comments below and have a great day!

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Thomas Newman talks Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Thomas Newman talks “A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004)

In 2004, Paramount Pictures released Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a film adaptation of the first three books in the popular series (The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window). The film follows the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they flee their wicked uncle Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), who seeks to claim their fortune for himself.

The music for this film was composed by Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, Skyfall, Spectre) and the extended video above is half-interview, half scoring session, where we get to see a side by side view of the film scene and the recording session. Newman talks about the process of creating the themes, creating music to fit Jim Carrey’s character, and also creating music for the “pit band” in the play scene late in the movie.

Newman has some interesting thoughts on how a film score should come together (his thoughts on themes and characters startled me) and I enjoyed listening to his explanations because Newman is one of the most respected composers in Hollywood.

Whether you’ve seen A Series of Unfortunate Events, or not, I believe you will enjoy this video a great deal: there’s a lot of music and extended looks at recording sessions and truthfully this is one of the best Thomas Newman interviews that I’ve found thus far. Enjoy!

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See also:

Thomas Newman talks Wall-E (2008)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*poster image is the property of Paramount Pictures