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Games: Sonic 2 breaks videogame movie curse

Neil McGreevy

Sonic 2 breaks videogame movie curse

IT'S safe to say 2020's Sonic The Hedgehog movie had a low bar to clear. Ever since 1993's Super Mario Bros (with poor Bob Hoskins divving around a waking nightmare and Dennis Hopper as a big rubber lizard) set the stage, gamers have endured over two decades of box office bombs, with Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Doom and countless other joypad jewels painfully plundered by Hollywood.

But thanks to directors now being young enough to have misspent their youth actually playing them, the term "based on a videogame" is no longer a threat. 2019's bizarre Detective Pikachu was far better than it had any right to be, while the following year's Sonic The Hedgehog was, well, decent.

Expectations were suitably low, but after a hasty redesign of Sonic, who initially looked like some medical blunder, the blue blur's cinematic debut was pure popcorn fodder, letting Jim Carrey flail his manic chops in a way we hadn't seen in decades. And, given no actual child knows who Sonic is any more, it boasted enough fan service to please jaded old farts who were there from the Mega Drive days.

Now, its sequel, which is currently doing the rounds in cinemas, has clocked up the biggest ever opening weekend for a videogame based movie, raking in $71 million at the box office. This trumps the previous record held by the first Sonic movie, followed by Detective Pikachu and Sony's recent Uncharted.

It's no Godfather Part II, and Carrey's shoulders must be sore from carrying the entire enterprise, but whereas the first movie put Sonic into the real world, its sequel doubles down on the videogames.

Fan favourites Tails and Knuckles put in appearances, while the plot hinges on entire set-pieces lifted from the Sega icon's 16-bit adventures.

Stuffed with more Easter eggs than a pregnant bunny, there's a water-logged labyrinth, snowboarding and Sonic's famous Tornado biplane, while eagle-eyed fans will spot references to Sonic sucking on a bubble while underwater, the Mean Bean coffee shop and even a Mega Drive instruction manual to milk the nostalgia glands.

With Paramount living off the high hog, it's no surprise a third Sonic flick is already in production, but this time Sega's rapid rodent will have some competition from the old enemy, with Nintendo taking a second stab at putting Mario on the silver screen.

You can hear poor Bob Hoskins spinning in his grave....

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