‘Sonic 2: The Movie’ shows that freedom and fidelity are not antagonistic concepts by successfully adapting video games to cinema

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Since as far back as 1993 Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel ventured to transfer the adventures of Mario, Luigi and friends in the indescribable ‘Super Mario Bros’, the Hollywood industry has tried to provide — unsuccessfully on most occasions — with the ultimate formula that will allow them to adapt video games to the big screen to satisfy the fandom without leaving minimum quality in terms of cinematography along the way.

The set of examples that can be used to illustrate this error is both extensive and painful, as it includes interesting licenses such as ‘Alone in the Dark’, ‘Doom’, ‘Hitman’, ‘Prince of Persia’ or ‘Far Cry’ . But, as they say, practice is perfect and, over time, directors and screenwriters have managed to shape productions like ‘Project Rampage’, ‘Tomb Raider’ or ‘A Werewolf Among Us’; a title which, although not unanimous, reflects a clear positive evolution.

In the midst of this panorama, and after starring in a crazy controversy over the design of its protagonist, ‘Sonic: The Movie’ surprised foreigners by turning the adventures of the blue hedgehog into a hilarious, though not excluded, family feature film. from a soft spot, he knows how to capture the essence of the mythical Sega franchise in an extraordinary solvent product. An achievement that, two years later, was repeated by its direct sequel which adopted the premise of “more, and even greater”.

As Ruben Fleischer pointed out during a promotional interview for his acclaimed adaptation of the ‘Uncharted’ saga starring Tom Holland, much of the studio’s problem with developing this type of film lies in its desire to recreate the original experience in an entirely different medium. The key to successfully exiting such an endeavor is ultimately taking inspiration from the game and projecting it into the narrative as freely as possible.

Despite the fact that the arrival of games like, at the time, the groundbreaking ‘Sonic Adventure’ from the Dreamcast, adding an extra plot point to the sega mascot universe, ‘Sonic: The Movie 2’—and, consequently, its predecessor—was partially maintained with the advantage of handling a franchise that is more concerned with providing a good platform experience and great level design than with articulating a solid and complex story. But this doesn’t translate into the greater simplicity to bring this film to fruition.

After the stumbling block and the need to decipher the origin story were overcome, Jeff Fowler was able to expand the universe presented in 2020 by pulling continuity and adding what already worked then extra action, hypervitaminized visual effects and, most importantly, a variety of new characters drawn from video games and Easter eggs galore that are sure to bring smiles to those who grew up around the Green Hill Zone with controllers in their hands.

There is absolutely no need that ‘Sonic: The Movie 2’ traces the dialogue, scenes and sets that appear throughout the playable saga. The film updates the protagonist and situations to the current time and the real world in which it is set, but they are details that are in the design of the production —Dr. Robotnik is amazing—or a wink is like watching Sonic absorb air bubbles while underwater to breathe which, integrated into the narrative, provides the necessary packaging and makes its origins recognizable.

Although his sense of humor, set-piece billing, visual packaging and Jim Carrey’s once again released in his antagonist role, elevates the set above the original, the script suffers from terrible predictability—and from some rather complicated passages in the middle of the second act—inherited from an exaggerated template structure that seems to be taken straight from the book ‘Save the cat’ by Blake Snyder.

But, out of balance between scintillating success and unfortunate decisions, if anything is to be admitted about ‘Sonic: The Movie 2’ it is its ability to not only rise to become one of the best video game adaptations released to date, but to do so proves that Freedom and fidelity aren’t antagonistic concepts when it comes to offering love for the source material** -and you only have to watch the end-credits sequence to realize it-.