One of the most amusing things that happened on the Internet over the past year or so has got to be the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. More specifically, Sonic’s original nightmare-inducing design, complete with realistic chompers. In a turn of events that probably surprised everyone, Paramount actually redesigned Sonic and made him…actually really adorable. My cynical self had assumed they’d put the minimal effort into changing the world’s fastest hedgehog, and his new design would be just as bad. But Paramount really listened to its critics, and…I gotta say, after they put that much work into redesigning the main character, even delaying the movie’s release date as a result, watching the movie was the least I could do to repay them.
I didn’t see the movie in theaters, but rather, I waited to rent it on Amazon Prime. Poor Mother Duck got wrangled into watching it, too, and I think she was less than impressed (though she did laugh at a few points). As for me, I’m surprised to admit that it was better than I was expecting. Sure, there were still problems. For example, Sonic’s world looked great. But it was only in a small portion of the movie. Furthermore, making a road trip sort of movie makes no sense when the main character can run to his destination much faster. Sure, I get that he doesn’t know where San Francisco is. That’s what maps are for. And lastly, relating back to the first point, I would have much more preferred if the movie had revolved more around Sonic and his friends, not Sonic and this human dude. I’m okay with putting Sonic in our world because of games like Sonic Adventure 2. I just would have preferred more Sonic characters.
And what was up with the super obvious product placements? Like everyone’s been saying, they didn’t even do Sonic Drive-In, which would have at least made sense! Instead we get Zillow and Olive Garden?! Ahem, okay, I’m all right, let’s carry on.
But the movie didn’t do those things. It did make some mistakes, so I need to judge it for what it is, not what I wanted it to be. And it was…it was actually pretty okay. Again, this new design for Sonic is so adorable, and his interactions with (the unwanted human character) Tom were perfectly entertaining. I’ll admit that I don’t have the firmest grasp on the Sonic universe (I’ve played several of the games, sure, but I don’t follow the franchise and its characters as closely as other series), but Sonic felt a lot like a hyperactive kid in this movie, which I think fit his character really well.
Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik was much better than I was expecting, as well. Again, I’m not super familiar with what Robotnik’s character should be like, but I ended up liking Carrey’s take on it. The only part that I felt was really cringe-worthy was when Robotnik first appears in the movie. It’s a scene that I always hated from the trailer, and it just makes me squirm. At this point in the movie, I was thinking, “Oh no, if he’s like this the whole time, this movie is going to be painful to watch.” Well, fortunately that was the only scene where I was really uncomfortable. The rest of the time, Robotnik was actually pretty entertaining…even if he really looked nothing like Robotnik, nor did he sound like Robotnik. Honestly, I kind of still felt like I was watching Jim Carrey, but having grown up with his movies, it was kind of fun seeing this actor again after not seeing his movies since the late 90’s and early 2000’s. (And hey, he looks like Robotnik at the very end of the movie, so there’s that.)
So yeah, the movie was not as bad as it could have been. There were actually some good jokes. The dialogue was kind of weird sometimes, but entertaining. I liked Sonic and Robotnik. And the scenes where time is slowed down because that’s kind of how it looks from Sonic’s perspective was kind of cool. I’m actually hoping they’ll make another Sonic movie that focuses more on Sonic and other characters from the games, along with the Robotnik we see at the very end. That could actually be pretty cool.
Anyway, if you’re a Sonic the Hedgehog fan, you might actually enjoy this movie. As far as video game movies go, I suppose it was pretty successful. And if you’ve already seen it, why not tell me what you thought of it. Did you enjoy it more than, less than, or the same as you were expecting? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Image used is Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Promo Art
My wife point-blank refused to come with my daughter and I to see it (she saw something else instead), but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it falls for a common enough trap of game-to-movie tie-ins – the forced real world connection. That being said, I warmed to the human characters and to Sonic himself (despite being on the Nintendo side of the Great Console War). In fact, I felt like a kid again at that little mid credits scene!
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https://monthlycritic.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/extraction/ My latest review if you fancy reading. Keep writing.
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