Sega’s most famous video game creation finally comes to the big screen. Whilst hiding his powers on Earth, Sonic the Hedgehog let’s his emotions get the better of him and discharges a massive electro-magnetic pulse resulting in the authorities sending mad genius Dr. Robotnik to discover its cause.
Sonic has had a famously troubled journey to the big screen thanks to some special effects in its first trailer that broke the internet with the negative response. An announcement delaying the project and a huge overhaul of the effects has reaped benefits with Sonic now looking much like his animated cartoon self. The overall look of Sonic is now probably the most successful facet of the film.
In terms of story it’s really generic stuff. Sonic is sent to hide on Earth by his owl guardians (I’m not sure why they are owls!) and thanks to advice taken from Disney’s Frozen to conceal his powers he is lonely. After his accident he goes on the run with James Marsden’s kind sheriff, oddly sitting him in a truck for most of the film. Along the way he learns the benefits of friendship whilst Jim Carey plays a parody version of his 1990’s persona.
The creation of Robotnik is actually quite interesting, a genius who hates people and relies on machines falls for the possibility of limitless power from Sonic’s quills. Everything else in the set up is fairly mundane.
I think where the film really falls down for the older generation watching is in the performances. Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz in a manner that can essentially be described as the PG Deadpool, manically narrating a spiel of pop culture references. Jim Carey’s Robotnik feels as though the creators have essentially given him free reign to do whatever he wanted to in the moment. I’m sure for young children unaware of him from the likes of Ace Ventura or The Mask will love it but for the older generation it will feel very old fashioned. Marsden on the other hand is as dull as dishwater and seems to have only been cast based on his previous film Hop where he acts opposite a CGI animal.
I’m not sure this is how I would have envisioned a Sonic film when I was obsessed with the games at an early age but I’m confident young children will love it even if adults will have some very valid reservations.
Hang around for an animated sequence in the credits done in the style of the original game and a mid credits sting that sets up a sequel.