Sonic the Hedgehog 2 definitely stoked the flames of nostalgia for Sega fans, bringing Ben Schwartz back as the blue-quilled hero. This time, while he got a second round against Jim Carrey’s Doctor Robotnik, he also had to contend with Knuckles, while partnering up with Tails. It called back decades ago to the popular video game; however, the sequel was very modern and played up current pop culture a lot. With that in mind, let’s dive into some movie references made to show Sonic was indeed hip with the times.
Sonic Was a Blue Batman
In the film’s opening act, Sonic prowled the streets of Seattle, hovering from rooftops and patrolling like Batman. He even called himself Blue Justice and Blue Dawn at times. His vigilante persona was meant to wash away “dark nights,” clearly homaging the DC hero. The Caped Crusader analogy was even more blatant when his adoptive dad, Tom, told him he needed to stop playing Batman until he matured in the field.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Paid Homage to Rush Hour
In 1998’s Rush Hour, Chris Tucker’s Carter botched an undercover job buying bombs, and in the process, he blew up a city block in LA. Sure, he caught the fiend, but he was chided for his lax attitude by his superior. Still, Carter didn’t care, citing how that block “was already messed up.” Sonic said the exact same thing when Tom pointed out his antics blew up a city block, proving he was still a child.
Sonic Played Risky Business
In Risky Business, Tom Cruise is known for his Joel Goodsen getting his house to himself, sliding out in a shirt, underwear and socks to have himself a soiree. Sonic did the same when Tom and Maddie took a ring portal to a wedding in Hawaii, singing and dancing to celebrate his first time home alone.
Robotnik’s World Stood Still in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
When Robotnik met the aliens who came through the ring ahead of Knuckles on the Mushroom World, he said, “Klaatu barada nikto,” which was from The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both movies included the line, which Klaatu used to activate or shut down his giant alien bot, Gort. It was also a nod to Ash using this line in Army of Darkness to try to travel through time and get back home.
Sonic Was Scared of Poltergeist
When Tom and Maddie left for Hawaii, Sonic trashed the place. He made a bubble bath in the living room, spilled snacks and drinks all over, and made it a one-man party. However, when electricity went, he said the moment reminded him of the classic horror, Poltergeist, leaving him waiting for a ghoul to appear on the TV. Little did he know, it was Robotnik and Knuckles shorting the house, prepping an attack.
Robotnik Got Labeled Professor Xavier
Robotnik’s hardly referred to as “Eggman,” which video game fans love to call him, but Sonic did take a shot at his bald head in the most scathing manner. He insulted Robotnik by calling him a cheap knockoff of Professor Xavier (the X-Men’s mentor) and the Monopoly Man, lamenting why Knuckles would team up with him. Sonic was hinting that Robotnik would manipulate Knuckles, not by using mind control, but his forked tongue.
Knuckles Was Dubbed the Winter Soldier
When Tails and Sonic followed Longclaw’s map to Siberia to find the Master Emerald, they were ambushed by Robotnik and Knuckles. The villains pursued them down the snowy mountain to get a mystical compass, with Tails flying off, leaving Sonic and Knuckles snowboarding downhill. Here, Sonic called Knuckles the Winter Soldier, poking fun at the cold conditions and how Knuckles was a mindless killer like Bucky Barnes was in Marvel’s Captain America movies.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Honored Men In Black
In the snowy mountain scene, when Sonic outraced Knuckles, he said, “I make this look good!” — boasting about his snowboarding talents. From his tone and swagger, it was a reference to Men in Black when Will Smith’s J first donned his suit and shades, telling K how good he looked in his new gear.
Sonic Poked Fun at Fast & Furious
The Rock and Vin Diesel have had a public spat over the years, which led to them going their separate ways in the Fast & Furious movies. The Rock wanted to focus on Hobbs & Shaw, leaving Diesel to marshal the main films, with the rivalry never being mended. The feud spilled over into Sonic’s world as the “Blue Blur” joked Knuckles’ echidna species and Longclaw’s owls warring over the Master Emerald made them similar to Diesel and The Rock. Coincidentally, Tom and Sonic harped on the theme of family throughout, similar to Diesel’s Dom Toretto.
Indiana Jones Got Ridiculed in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
When Knuckles and Robotnik scurried through the Master Emerald’s temple — a nod to the game’s Angel Island — they had to slip quite a few traps. These traps were pretty clichéd, which Robotnik addressed when he and Knuckles slid under a quickly-closing stone door. It felt like they were in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with a peeved Robotnik shouting, “I refuse to die like this — it’s derivative!” to poke fun at the film and genre.
Ghostbusters Got Shout-Outs in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Ghostbusters got nods when Deputy Wade mentioned the Master Emerald was something he’d expect to find in that franchise, based on how it could allow Robotnik to alter reality. Ironically, Team Sonic called Robotnik’s Death Egg machine something akin to the iconic Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. The comparison was due to its mammoth size, but also because of how Gozer brought it to life from Ray’s mind. In this case, Robotnik used scrap metal from tanks to conjure up his giant war bot.
Knuckles Is a Natural at Baseball in Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The movie’s finale focused on a redeemed Knuckles and Tails joining Sonic’s family after helping take down Robotnik. Tom and Maddie had them playing baseball, which nodded to Roy Hobbs’ (Robert Redford) final home run 1984’s The Natural. The same theme played, but in this case, Knuckles used his fist rather than the bat to smack a ball away at lightning speed.
See how all these movies are referenced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, now playing in theaters.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Cast & Character Guide
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