'Sonic The Hedgehog' review: A supersonic screen debut


  • Movie Review
  • Saturday, 15 Feb 2020

Sonic's screen debut manages to buck the trend of terrible video game adaptations with a delightful film that doesn’t try too hard to be too faithful to the game.

Sonic The Hedgehog
Director: Jeff Fowler
Cast: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz (voice)

When the first trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog came out, I, and fans across the world, were mortified. Not only did that initial version of Sonic look nothing like the one we grew up playing on our consoles, he was borderline creepy, with human-looking teeth, aimless, soulless eyes that are the stuff of nightmares, and long, spindly legs that made him look like a two-legged blue antelope with quills.

The backlash from fans was so great that director Jeff Fowler decided to push back the film’s release date several months and go back to the drawing board, literally, to redesign a more game-accurate version of the character.

Well, I’m happy to say that this NEW version of Sonic is much closer to the game Sonic, and happily, he has a pretty decent movie too.

With Sonic in the Fellowship, the Lord Of The Rings saga turned out to be much shorter than expected.With Sonic in the Fellowship, the Lord Of The Rings saga turned out to be much shorter than expected.

In it, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwatrz) has been living secretly on Earth for several years, in a quiet town called Green Hills watched over by a bored sheriff named Tom (a quite likeable James Marsden).

However, when Sonic accidentally reveals his presence, the government sends eccentric tech whiz Dr Robotnik (a watchable but not so likeable Jim Carrey, which is just how Robotnik should be) to capture him, leading to the little hedgehog turning to Tom for help.

When Cyclops Met Beast was one of the X-Men's least popular movies.When Cyclops Met Beast was one of the X-Men's least popular movies.

History is littered with the corpses of failed video game adaptations, but platform games like Super Mario Bros and Prince Of Persia in particular, have not fared well in the past.

Sonic, at least, manages to buck that trend with a delightful adaptation that doesn’t try too hard to be too faithful to the game. In fact, it’s more of a buddy road trip movie than anything else, with Marsden actually achieving some decent chemistry with his animated sidekick.

One fart joke aside, most of the humour works, without the usual overdose of slapstick gags and juvenile pratfalls that plague other movies like this. Yes, even Carrey’s over-the-top rubber-faced brand of comedy is surprisingly watchable here, and he actually gives the arrogant Robotnik a despicable streak that makes you hate the villain even more.

Ace Ventura's pet-detecting equipment has certainly improved a lot since we last saw him.Ace Ventura's pet-detecting equipment has certainly improved a lot since we last saw him.

But the best part of the movie, inevitably, is Sonic himself. Schwartz does a pretty good job with voicing the hyper hedgehog, managing to highlight the character’s boundless energy and enthusiasm without making him overly annoying.

The action is suitably fast paced, and even when it slows down, the chemistry between Marsden and Sonic is good enough that it doesn’t drag the movie down. And as for the animation and the character design, let’s just say that this truly is a Sonic the Hedgehog movie. I shudder to think what monstrosity it would have turned out to be if they had kept the original design...

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Summary:

Pretty fly for a fast guy

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Sonic The Hedgehog , Jim Carrey

   

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