The first Sonic the Hedgehog movie surprised a lot of people. Especially considering its first trailer had such a creepy version of the classic Sega video game speedster that the whole production had to go back to the drawing board. But they came back with a slick new take on the blue blur, Jim Carrey was pulling out all his various stops and people were hungry for some easy animated humor. It was fine! Being one of the only big films to get a theatrical release in 2020 didn’t hurt its reception, either. Now the inevitable sequel has an official name and release date—though as anyone that’s followed movie news in the last year knows, it’s probably best to consider the latter as quick-moving as Sonic himself. The only thing is, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is trying to fill some pretty big shoes by calling itself that.
Why? Because Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Genesis is one of the most stumped-for video game sequels out there, and often called the best game in the Sonic franchise. Naturally the film sequel was going to include Tails—you don’t spend that kind of money on a post-credits tease for nothing—but to claim the same title is…well, it’s not lazy, exactly, but it will invite comparisons.
The Sonic folks know their title isn’t much in the creativity department (“Groundbreaking. Thought provoking. Extremely obvious.”), and the first film certainly shows a few moments of savvy self-awareness. But when the title slaps those Miles Prower tails on the end of that 2…well, it makes me worried that things won’t quite live up to one of the best platformers of the 16-bit generation. But hey, director Jeff Fowler and scripters Pat Casey and Josh Miller are coming back! Maybe Sonic won’t do any Fortnite dances this time. We’ll see how the film lives up to Sonic’s sequel legacy on (maybe) April 8, 2022.