Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Ending Explained: Families Come In All Shapes And Sizes

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is out, and it feels like a very different kind of video game adaptation than even its predecessor. This is a movie more in tune with our current entertainment landscape conquered and ruled by superhero movies than with other video game movies like "Tomb Raider," "Warcraft" or "Super Mario Bros." Indeed, the film literally begins with Sonic trying to stop a bank robbery in a scene that plays out like the Joker car chase in "The Dark Knight," with Sonic acting like a vigilante he dubs "Blue Justice."

By the time the film ends, we have a new status quo, a happy and weird family, and a brand new villain. Here's what it all means.

Heavy spoilers for "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" ahead.

Dawn of justice

The movie deals with Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) convincing the last of an ancient race of warrior echidnas, Knuckles (Idris Elba), to hunt down Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and find a mythical Master Emerald which can turn one's imagination into reality. At the same time, Sonic teams up with his intergalactic number one fan, Tails (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), to find the emerald and keep it safe.

Following classic superhero tropes, most of the film involves Knuckles and Sonic fighting, despite having no reason to do so. But in the third act, Knuckles realizes Dr. Robotnik has no interest in him, and the echidna teams up with the hedgehog and the fox to fight the doctor — who has assembled a massive robot lifted straight from the Death Egg Robot boss from the games. 

While the three alien mammals fight Robotnik, the emerald is broken into seven chaos emeralds, which somehow are absorbed by Sonic, allowing him to have a Super Saiyan power-up. Indeed, the blue hedgehog turns yellow and becomes Super Sonic, a moment that is portrayed as less of a video game power-up (lifted straight from the 1992 game "Sonic the Hedgehog 2") and more of a third act superhero power up like Superman's memory-erasing kisses in "Superman II."

The super friends

Adapting video games is hard, since such adaptations so often remove what makes games special and fun — the interactivity. In the case of platformer games like "Sonic," you have to come up with an entire plot that mostly wasn't present in the games, reinventing them for an entirely different medium.

Case in point, turning "Sonic" into essentially "Batman v Superman." Both movies are overly long, with impressive action, larger-than-life characters, and a ludicrous and cartoonish third act. After defeating Robotnik, Tails, Sonic and Knuckles even decide to form a pseudo-Justice League, vowing to protect Earth and keeping the emerald out of the hands of evildoers — and they'll definitely face some evildoers.

Following this logic, Sonic is a stand-in for Superman, and it works. The first two films deal with his feeling lonely, what with Sonic being the last of his kind, and an actual kid with no friends. Sure, Sonic may not face as much scrutiny or prejudice as the Man of Steel, but it is still sad to see him be all alone on a baseball field in the first film, or act all rebellious and edgy in the sequel. Ben Schwartz gives Sonic not just a comedic edge like the one that turned the character into a teenage icon in the Nintendo vs Sega wars of the 1990s, but he gives the character a child-like innocence and a deep longing to belong. It makes sense, then, that the first film was mostly a buddy road trip film with Sonic hanging out with James Marsden's Tom Wachowski.

This also leads to the most important scene in the film, when Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are playing baseball together at the end of the story. It is a small moment, mostly played for laughs as we see Knuckles struggle to understand Earth customs like baseball or ice cream, but it is also a heartwarming conclusion to Sonic's search for a family. They are all outsiders and loners, but at least they've got each other. The three even head home with Tom and Maddie like their adopted kids!

Sure, most of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" plays out like a kid-friendly "Batman v Superman," but the ending transforms the film into "Alvin and the Chipmunks" — mostly in the part where the human adult adopts three talking mammals as his kids.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is out in theaters.