Watch of the Week: Knuckles

The Sonic the Hedgehog movies were good primarily because they had Jim Carrey and made a lot of money. Hollywood, of course, has no self-control, so inevitably, there’s more. Lacking Carrey to help carry the load, Knuckles, spun out of that game-to-screen universe, isn’t just bad, but a next-level degree of bad, starting with the puzzling question of for whom this six-episode Paramount+ series was made.

Having played the stilted-sounding warrior echidna in the 2022 Sonic sequel, Idris Elba reprises the voice of the titular animated figure in this live-action show, but that’s small compensation for the loud, tedious plot that ensues, which sends Knuckles – after a brief introduction with his movie pals – on a quest to a bowling tournament in Reno, Nevada.
Why there? Because that’s the destination of Wade Whipple (Adam Pally), a supporting character from the movies whose level of cartoonish obnoxiousness, as presented here, makes children’s TV shows from the 1970s appear understated by comparison.

Adhering to his warrior creed, Knuckles brings those impulses to bear, trying to teach Wade to find his bowling version of the eye of the tiger, which is as silly as that sounds. Most of the action, meanwhile, stems from a nefarious character intent on siphoning off Knuckles’ power, with a couple of well-armed henchmen in hot pursuit.

Despite only six half-hour episodes to complete the trek from points A to B, Knuckles goes nowhere fast and doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to get anywhere. Instead, the show indulges in detours that include exploring Wade’s personal life, bringing his mom (Stockard Channing) and sister (Edi Patterson) into the mix.

Charitably, the series might be seen as a sort of bonus for Sonic fans to keep the motor running while waiting for future movies. Still, it’s hard to imagine anyone on the shaving side of puberty being wowed by this iteration.

Because of Sonic’s box-office success and relationship to the popular game, Knuckles arguably serves its purpose simply in bringing attention to Paramount’s streaming service, wringing additional benefits from the franchise. 

“I do not make jokes,” Knuckles tells Wade. “I make warriors.”
At least he got the first part right.

Website | + posts

Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.

About Author / Boluwatife Adesina

Boluwatife Adesina is a media writer and the helmer of the Downtown Review page. He’s probably in a cinema near you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start typing and press Enter to search