SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

★★★½

Starring Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally
Directed by Jeff Fowler

2020 / 99 Minutes / Paramount Pictures

Starring Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally Directed by Jeff Fowler 2020 / 99 Minutes / Paramount Pictures

This is a tough one. Sonic The Hedgehog is neither good nor bad, but it’s fun… mostly.

Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

I’m not sure what I expected, but overall it’s a fine movie. They did justice to this beloved video game character (thank god they fixed those eyes, more about that later). Sonic is a popular character and he deserves a decent movie. Even though it’s not a spectacular film, it’s bound to keep the kids entertained on multiple viewings. The rest of us will watch, be entertained and then forget it all in the morning.

A small town police officer (Marsden) discovers Sonic, a blue fast moving powerful Hedgehog who needs help defeating the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Carrey), who wants him for his experiments. It’s kind of a typical story that you would expect from a movie like this. That’s where it mostly falls flat is in the basic premise. Maybe more creativity from the writers could have given this the oomph it needed. Sonic has a sort of Who Framed Roger Rabbit quality to it that many have tried to come close to, but not to the level and sophistication of that film. Watching a human actor converse with an animated character will never be as great as that film. As much as they tried here I never really felt much chemistry between Marsden and Sonic. It always seemed like he was talking to nothing.

Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and James Marsden in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

Now onto those eyes… for those that don’t know Sonic The Hedgehog was delayed due to an outcry of fans after seeing the first trailer. Sonic was originally made to look more life like and less cartoony. His eyes were smaller and more human looking and his teeth also looked more realistic (which I don’t think a hedgehog has human looking teeth). I’m so happy that this was fixed! I too found that he looked creepy and completely wrong. His look wasn’t balanced. There were human features mixed with a cartoon animal. A character like this shouldn’t match our world unless you make him look exactly like a real hedgehog. He’s supposed to look cartoony and he looks so much better in this final product, however I did find him a little stiff and a bit out of place still. I never really felt Sonic fit into the environment. He seemed lacking in expressions and feels like an animated character and that’s all I could think of when he was onscreen. It could be due to all of the controversy  surrounding his looks that forced me to spend most of the time just staring at the changes made to him. He didn’t ever feel real to me and that’s the unfortunate part of the movie. For a beloved video game character, he didn’t have enough heart or personality.

Jim Carrey and James Marsden in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

Sonic does succeed in entertaining us even with the lackluster storyline and empty characters. Jim Carrey has some funny moments and some annoying ones also, but he was a great choice for this character and addition to the movie.

It sounds like I don’t like this movie from this review, but it’s actually fun and entertaining. In the end I realized that I’m actually looking forward to a sequel and will be interested to see where it goes. It’s worth a watch and also the bonus here is this video game turned movie is far more superior than a lot of others that have tried to make it on the big screen. We’ll never forget the travesty and the nightmare that was Super Mario Brothers. Sonic runs laps around that movie. For what it is, it’s a decent movie night viewing and will take your mind off of everything else going on in the world right now.

Grade B-

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