Sun. Apr 5th, 2020

Film Review: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ grabs all the gold rings

Sonic The Hedgehog opens up in theaters this weekend and has the gigantic task of escaping the doomed past of previous video game adaptations. Paramount Pictures and director Jeff Fowler could have sought the easy road and developed a film much in the way Super Mario Brothers was. It certainly would satisfy the hardcore fans but resulted in a subpar film.

Writers Patrick Casey and Josh Miller clearly understood what was at stake when they took on crafting this narrative. Had they made the film too much like the video game, a whole section of potential moviegoers would feel alienated. Casey and Miller were able to walk a thin line between what was ridiculous and plausible. While Sonic The Hedgehog manages to weave in the more critical elements of the video game, as a film, it does a sweet and relatable message.

The film centers around Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) having to leave his home planet and his quest for friendship. One can have all the superpowers in the world, but if you are alone, then what does it matter? Our favorite blue Hedgehog manages to spy on the town folk in this rural Montana town (specifically Officer Tom Wachowski, played by James Mardsen). When an incident involving Sonic’s powers gains the attention of the United States Defense, they decided to send in Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to investigate.

Schwartz adds just enough whimsy and heart, resulting in Sonic that he comes across as adorable. Marsden was fine as officer Wachowski but didn’t add much to the film. Jim Carrey did most of the heavy lifting as Dr. Robotnik. After seeing the film, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role. He not only was perfect; his over the top style made everyone else more relatable. If there’s such a thing as ideal casting, then Carrey would be it.

The music and graphics were undoubtedly fine. The attention to detail that went into creating our favorite blue Hedgehog was nothing short of astounding. Fowler and his team wanted to deliver for the fans and that they did.

Sonic The Hedgehog is an incredibly charming slice of nostalgia that will entertain the entire family. All the credit in the world should be given to director Jeff Fowler and his entire team for getting this right. While there was undoubtedly a bit of controversy over the appearance of Sega’s most iconic video game figure, instead of just rushing this out to the general public, they took their time and got everything right. While most of the talk has been about Birds Of Prey, it wouldn’t surprise if, at the end of the month we are all gobsmacked by the Sonic’s box-office numbers.

Sonic the Hedgehog races into theaters February 14 from Paramount Pictures.

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