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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Rondina

Knuckles Review

Knuckles packs a punch with humour and heart but falls short with the story, my full review.

It’s been an incredible time for video game adaptations on the big and small screen. Even gaming sidekicks like Knuckles the Echidna are getting in on the action. Originally, he made his pixelated gaming debut in 1994 in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on the Sega Genesis. Now he’s a cornerstone of the Sonic Cinematic Universe with a 6-episode spin-off on Paramount+. The series is helping to gear up fans for Sonic the Hedgehog 3 film and, in the process, give more backstory on Knuckles. But does the show offer enough to build on the ever-growing “Cinematic World of Sonic the Hedgehog,” or does it simply ride Sonic’s blue coattails without contributing anything new? Let’s dive into Knuckles’ solo adventure and find out.

Knuckles: A Reno Road Trippin' Adventure

The series' first two episodes perfectly set up the show's premise: an unlikely duo teaming up in the Sonic universe. Knuckles, after the events of Sonic 2, struggles to adjust to the more mundane life on Earth. As a result, he takes Deputy Sheriff Wade Whipple under his wing, training him in the ways of the Echidna warrior. Idris Elba reprises his role as Knuckles, and Adam Pally returns as Wade Whipple. We get many fun cameos along the way from Sonic (Ben Schwartz) himself and Tails. The lead-up to this is quite funny, with Knuckles trying to find ways to introduce a more “warrior-like” lifestyle in the suburbia of Green Hills. As you can imagine, the two don’t mix, forcing Knuckles to look elsewhere to fulfil his mentorship role. Knuckles and Wipple team up to fulfill their destinies by hitting the open road. Their goal? (As odd as it sounds) is to prepare for a bowling tournament in Reno, Nevada. It’s a far cry from the high-stakes action we’re used to in the Sonic films, but this change of pace gives the series its own odd-ball charm.

Knuckles features a star-studded cast

 Idris Elba does an excellent join portraying Knuckles, bringing a level of gravitas to the red echidna that fans have come to expect. Unfortunately, in the latter half of the season, Knuckles’ appearances become very limited, and it shifts in an unbalanced fashion to Wade Whipple’s character and family. Early cameos from Sonic and Tails set the stage for the series, but as the episodes unfold, the narrative loses momentum and really struggles to reach the heights of the Sonic films.

On the upside of this shift, Adam Pally’s portrayal of Whipple provides a comedic counterbalance that keeps the series light-hearted and provides plenty of laughs. Wipple’s family moments, namely the ones that include his sister and estranged father, leave much to be desired. Each character could have used a little more development to help flesh out their motivations. Instead, we are left with something that feels rushed and pulls much of the screen time away from Knuckles. It’s a bit of a shock to less and less of the central character, considering he’s the star of the show.


Outside of this the supporting cast, including Kid Cudi and Ellie Taylor, who play Knuckles’ main foils, offer some slapstick laughs as they battle it out. There is also a main baddie known as “The Buyer” portrayed Rory McCann. He’s an arms dealer connected to Dr. Robotnik and wants to capture Knuckles to harness his power. Although he has potential as a character, The Buyer never really seems to be given the opportunity to build himself up as villain. His payoff does come in the form of a great battle sequence, but it feels like there were too many characters in the series and not enough focus on the central ones in the plot that needed more screen time to develop.

Knuckles Action and Storytelling

The action sequences and the performances of Elba and Pally are fun and offer touching moments. They also have great chemistry during action sequences, especially as things are going hilariously awry. Outside of this, the writing is sometimes weak and unbalanced, with lines that don’t seem to fit in various scenes. As I mentioned before, Knuckles’s screen time gets increasingly limited as the series progresses and has him omitted from some key scenes and showdowns without any rhyme or reason. The series offers some early cameos from Sonic and Tails and sets itself up well. It then loses a lot of steam but doesn’t hit the highs of the Sonic movies.

Final Thoughts on Knuckles

Overall, Knuckles is filled with very quirky humour and some fun action sequences that many fans will enjoy. While it didn’t capture the appeal of Sonic the Hedgehog films for me, it had some fun moments. The series, while it may not consistently hit the mark, offers a refreshing take on a world that has been predominantly about speed and high stakes. It’s a narrative detour that I really wish did more with the characters, especially Knuckles.

There were a lot of puzzling aspects to the series, like the abundance of time spent on the Widdle family dynamics and the focus taken away from central characters like Knuckles. The series excels in certain aspects, like action but falls short in building out central characters in the Sonic universe. For the casual viewer, it’s a quirky, offbeat adventure that’s worth a look. Knuckles may not be perfect, but it’s a journey worth taking.


About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina

Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a tech and video game industry veteran who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. In addition to being the Managing Editor of, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on multiple social platforms with the handle @dapper_tux via "X", Instagram, Threads, TikTok and join in on the fun!


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