When the first design for Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie came out, I (like many others) was understandably worried that the film was going to be awful. While everything else in the trailer seemed reasonable, the design just wasn’t Sonic. After an incredible amount of backlash, director Jeff Fowler announced that the film had been delayed to redesign the character. The redesign worked, and we had a result that you could actually look at without disgust.
The movie itself is pretty much your basic kids oriented movie, and there’s not really much that we haven’t seen already in terms of plot. Sonic the Hedgehog is living on Earth, but no one knows about it (aside from one “crazy” old man) and then, as you’d probably expect, someone discovers him after a goof from our main character. The quest to find him is led by Dr. Ivo Robotnik, who is played by what seems to be a rejuvenated Jim Carrey, and as you’d expect, very entertaining results soon follow.
The casting is pretty on point in this one, with James Marsden proving as a competent lead, alongside Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz). Carrey, however, truly steals the show, as his performance as Robotnik is akin to something he’d do in the 90’s, and something you’ve been wanting from the actor for a very long time.
The effects in the film are pretty impressive as well, especially considering the small amount of time it took for Sonic’s redesign to be done. It’s almost as if they were expecting backlash from the initial design, and rightfully so. I mean – what the hell where they thinking? The film may have been a major box office bomb if that was the look they ended up going with. Okay, maybe not a major bomb, but I’m not sure people would have been as enthusiastic about seeing it with a design like that, or even known it was Sonic.
In all seriousness though, I have to give a lot of credit to the people behind the movie for actually listening to the fans for once, and giving them a version of Sonic that is actually Sonic the Hedgehog and not a blue creature with teeth, as we see below.
With that being said, Sonic blends into the real world seamlessly, and the VFX team deserves a lot of credit for that. Sonic’s speed and antics are fun to watch, as well as Robotnik’s drones throughout the film.
The nostalgia for old-school gamers (or those who watched the cartoons) is definitely an added bonus. You could also say that vintage Jim Carrey gives a bit of nostalgia as well, for people like myself who grew up with a lot of his iconic performances in films like Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, etc.
While Sonic the Hedgehog is ultimately predictable and some of the jokes fall flat – and let’s be honest, a bit forgettable – at an hour and 40 minutes, the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome, and is entertaining enough for adults and kids alike.
Grade: B –