Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Needs To Cut The Pointless Human Subplots

Warning! SPOILERS for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 rightly focuses on the spiky blue hero, but the film is hampered by needless human drama, something Sonic the Hedgehog 3 must avoid. The sequel's main storyline follows the super-powered Sonic the Hedgehog as he tries to find the legendary Master Emerald, a source of immense power, before Dr. Robotnik can get hold of it. It also features the much-anticipated debuts of Tails and Knuckles, Sonic's best friends from the video game series. Less expected from Sonic 2 was the wedding subplot, which for the most part features exclusively human characters.

The wedding focuses on Rachel, Tom Wachowski's sister-in-law, and Randall, a newly introduced character for the sequel. Rachel's supporting role in Sonic the Hedgehog was to constantly encourage Maddie - Tom's wife - to leave him. Her disapproval of Tom continues in Sonic 2 as she warns him not to ruin the wedding. Inevitably, after 15 minutes of non-Sonic related banter, Tom ruins the Hawaiian beach wedding by using a ring portal to teleport Sonic and Tails away from a Siberian mountain, where they were being chased by Jim Carey's Robotnik and Idris Elba's Knuckles, causing an avalanche to obliterate the ceremony. Randall and his guests then reveal themselves to be undercover agents for the Guardian Units of Nations (G.U.N.), a military group from the video games, and that his relationship with Rachel was a sham so that he could get close to Sonic.

Related: Sonic 2: Why Video Game Movies Rarely Get Sequels

The biggest issue with Sonic 2's wedding is that audiences had no reason to care about it. Rachel is a largely one-dimensional character, whose main personality trait is her aggressive dislike for Tom. Whilst Natasha Rothwell gives a good performance as Rachel, there was no reason to give the character the amount of screen time and focus she gets in the film. Sonic 2 was one of the most anticipated movies of April 2022, and the reveal that Randall only married Rachel because he's a G.U.N. agent was not a big enough payoff to justify the subplot, which was so far removed from Sonic's quest for the Master Emerald. It has also put a question mark over the competence of G.U.N. if their main plan to capture Sonic was to stage a wedding that he wasn't invited to.

The only benefit of placing all of the human side characters at the wedding was that it left Sonic to have interactions with solely Dr. Robotnik, Tails, and Knuckles, who many audiences were either already invested in or excited to see for the first time in live-action cinema. But that could have happened without the wedding taking place. Removing the somewhat unnecessary wedding plot - or at least elements of it - from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 would have fixed the film's pacing problems. The story cuts from fast-paced action sequences to jarringly slow wedding scenes, and without the wedding, the film's dragged-out 122-minute run time could have been reduced without any real detriment to the plot or characters.

Human characters do not need to be ignored completely in Sonic 3. Dr. Robotnik and Tom are both well-received characters, but that's because their actions have had consequences for Sonic himself. This in mind, the case seems to simply be that Sonic 3 needs to avoid drawn-out scenes which do not feature either Sonic or other core characters. Now that Tails and Knuckles have been established, they will be able to carry scenes and subplots when Sonic is off doing other things, rather than relying on minor human characters to bulk the film out. Sonic 2's end credits scene sets up the debut of Shadow, another anthropomorphic fan favorite, which should also serve to make sure there are enough video game characters to fully carry the third film. The hype for the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will be the exploits of the video game characters, so Paramount must ensure that there isn't a pointless human sideshow, like Sonic 2's wedding.

Next: Sonic's Eggman Is Jim Carrey Doing Riddler Again (& Proves It Was Great)

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