While the previous 'Sonic' movie was something I found fun, albeit a touch cheesy and derivative of other "fish out of water" stories, I had to admit that they still caught something. It carried the charm of Jim Carrey delivering the comedy I remember him best for, a whole bunch of fun easter eggs for Sonic fans, and I think we were all grateful when they altered his look from creepy-looking pincushion to... well, actual Sonic.
2020's 'Sonic', to me, was fun, harmless fun, and I wasn't sitting there saying how badly they screwed things up. This may also, however, be due to an attachment to Sonic I had in my youth. I'd be willing to bet that I would have absolutely loved the film as a kid. But the true nostalgia for Sonic didn't quite kick in until the sequel came along. This is not to say that it swept me off my feet, but I had fun with it, and appreciated that much like with the games, they explored more with characters, and environments, and above all else, pushed the human element to the background.
Taking place eight months after the previous film, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has been adopted by Tom and Maddie Wachowski (James Marsden and Tika Sumpter, respectively). By night, Sonic has taken to being a vigilante hero for the town of Green Hills. However, he's not exactly good at what he does and gets some Uncle Ben-like advice about his heroism from Tom before he and Maddie head to Hawaii for her sister's wedding. Being pretty much a teen with the house to himself, Sonic has as much fun as he can while the "parents are away", but it's all soon disrupted by Doctor Robotnik (Carrey) and his new "friend", Knuckles (Idris Elba), the Echidna.
Both out for revenge, Robotnik's is obvious, while Knuckles wants to honour his extinct Echidna tribe by finding the legendary Master Emerald, which will allow whoever possesses it to bend reality to their will. Of course, once Robotnik gets hold of this information, he starts a scheme of his own, along with his old assistant, Stone (Lee Majdoub) to help Knuckles find the Emerald and steal it from him. Meanwhile the only help Sonic can really get is from a kid who idolizes him; a two-tailed fox, fully named Miles "Tails" Prower (Colleen O'Shaughnessey). Miles Prower is a fun play on words here and even a part of the character's original history, showing that the writers here did at least a little homework.
The human element, as I mentioned before, gets pushed to the background and consists of a little side story that does eventually come back around to the main plot of the movie in a rather humorous way. But most of the movie is Sonic and Tails vs Robotnik and Knuckles, and it provides the fun that I came to see. While Carrey is still great in his role, for my money, Knuckles was the better character. He's clever and intimidating, yet still pretty dimwitted. He could easily be compared to Drax from 'Guardians of the Galaxy', and the fact that Idris Elba gives his awesome voice to this character just makes it better.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this was that they actually gave us several environments we remember from some of that old-school gameplay. There's Green Hills, sure, but we also get things going up in the sky with Tails' plane, we get to see Sonic use his snowboard, we get an ancient pyramid, we even get to see how bad Sonic is when it comes to water (the only thing missing is the bubble that gives him air). I think I have to say that on the whole, I appreciated this one more as a 'Sonic' movie, but it's still not exactly what I want to see more of, which is Sonic's actual dimension (as seen in the opening of the first movie). Nevertheless, that's a nitpick, and this is still perfectly fun for what it is, even for Sonic fans like me.