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It's been two whole years since Sonic the Hedgehog (as voiced by Ben Schwartz) made his big screen debut. One pandemic later, and the sequel, helmed by returning director Jeff Fowler, is finally primed for a wide theatrical bow on Friday, April 8.
But is the second installment in the SEGA-inspired film franchise worth your time? The answer — at least according to early Twitter reactions — is a resounding "YES!!!" Audience members can't get enough of the introduction of Sonic mainstays like Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey) and Knuckles (Idris Elba). More importantly, and this shouldn't come as a real surprise to anyone out there, Jim Carrey once again steals the show as the crazed Dr. Robotnik (now back from his fungal exile and utilizing the power of the Chaos Emeralds).
Geeks of Color's Dorian Parks summed it best: "#SonicMovie2 is a real love letter to the blue blur. It takes everything you liked about the first film and gives you so much more. #Tails and #Knuckles are fantastic additions and Jim Carrey as #Robotnik is even more unhinged!"
Complimenting the voice cast, Parks wrote: "Ben Schwartz nails it as #Sonic yet again. Idris Elba absolutely crushes it as #Knuckles. Colleen O'Shaughnessey does an incredible job bringing #Tails to the big screen. I can not wait to see more of them in the future! #SonicMovie2."
He even took the time to praise the overall look of the feature, which isn't something you often see with mainstream blockbusters like this. "The cinematography for this film didn’t have to go as hard as it did. I was so blown away with how everything looked. Peak cinema."
"Good news! #SonicMovie2 is A LOT of fun — a much bigger, more action-driven film than the first Sonic w/ great jokes & plenty for longtime fans," tweeted Fandango's managing editor, Erik Davis. "Jim Carrey is next-level maniacal as Robotnik, but for me it’s all Sonic, Tails & Knuckles. That trio delivers a TON of heart & humor."
In a follow-up tweet, he continued: "Big #Sonic fans will feast on ALL the little references & DEFINITELY stay for the credits. If the 1st SONIC is about discovering new family, this one is about the power of friendship. The BFF relationship between Sonic & Tails is super cute & funny & my favorite part of the film."
Fandango correspondent Nikki Novak called it "a love letter to video game lovers," going on to add: "Had a ton of fun with it. Unlike a lot of blockbusters the 3rd act is bananas and the strongest of the film @JimCarrey reigns supreme."
ScreenRant's Ash Crossan described Sonic 2 as "a worthy successor" that will appeal to younger audiences. "The kids in my theater were howling. "It has all the winks, nods, nostalgia and laughs fans of the first movie could ever want, and feels more loyal to its game roots than ever."
Touching on the arrival of more beloved characters from the games, Comic Book's Chris Killian said: "The addition of Tails & Knuckles makes it feel more like Sonic. Once again,@JimCarrey is awesome as Robotnik, but this round, some of the other characters get some time to shine too."
Now that we're only two just weeks away from the release date, Paramount Pictures debuted a first look clip from the movie, which finds Sonic and Knuckles snowboarding down a precarious mountain slope. Not that this is confirmed or anything, but we'd like to think of this as a super deep cut to the 2009 video game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Look it up, it's a real thing.
The studio also premiered a music video for Kid Cudi's tie-in song, "Stars in the Sky." This is the second original track composed for the Sonic franchise after "Speed Me Up" (performed by Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, and Sueco the Child).
Watch both below:
While Ben Schwartz might be a bit biased, he did get to see a finished cut earlier this week, tweeting: "It. was. AWESOME! I'm so proud to be a part of this franchise. Can't wait for you to see it! @fowltown filled this thing to the brim with comedy, heart & SO MUCH ACTION! GET READY. THIS IS NOT A GAME. But it's based on one."
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, April 8.
James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, and Lee Majdoub co-star.