Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and it is based on everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog who can run at the speed of light, Sonic. In his cinematic debut, Sonic is found out by the government who have sent the incredibly smart Dr Robotnik to investigate, now Sonic has to team up with local sheriff Tom to find his rings and transport somewhere safely. The movie stars Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden and Tika Sumpter.
When it comes to iconic video-game characters like Sonic, I never played their games when I was younger. My only memories of Sonic have to do with the anime Sonic X which I grew up with but even then I wasn’t a huge fan. With the recent Detective Pikachu, my enjoyment of that movie was increased by the fact that I love the franchise so I got most of the references and easter eggs. Knowing that this movie would act very similarly I decided to revisit the anime and watched the first arc, that way I had a good grasp of who the characters are, have a basic understanding of the mythology and in doing so appreciate the movie more than the casual movie-goer. Having seen the movie, I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. I wasn’t in a negative mindset and my expectations weren’t really low and somehow this movie just made me feel warm and safe. It made me feel like a kid.
Sonic the Hedgehog is an old-fashioned heartwarming family movie which feels modern yet at the same time nostalgic. Ben Schwartz’s Sonic is perfect, he is Sonic, he’s incredibly lovable, cocky, energetic and has a wacky sense of humour and while I love that he’s all of those things what I loved most about Sonic in this movie is his emotional arc. His yearning to belong in a family and be loved was done really well and it even tugged at the heartstrings which actually took me out of the movie because I thought to myself ‘Am I really getting a bit teary-eyed at a Sonic movie?’ and I did. Another element which flat out shocked me is how I love the dynamic between Sonic and Tom who is played very well by Marsden. Usually, in these types of movies, I really couldn’t care less for the human characters, in fact, it was one of my main issues with Detective Pikachu but with Sonic, I actually really enjoyed the human characters. I liked Sumpter and Marsden as a couple. I love how Marsden’s Tom didn’t do the over-the-top shocked and constant complaining bit and actually had a genuine connection with Sonic. They worked really well together and honestly it would be a shame if Marsden doesn’t return for a potential sequel.
Sonic is very clearly a movie made to entertain and it succeeds in doing so. Like it’s protagonist, Sonic is a very fast-paced movie. I was never bored throughout the movie, it held my attention really well. That being said after the big third act, the children in my screening started to talk. When it comes to negatives, it’s very easy to tear holes in the script and dismiss the movie because Sonic flosses twice (yes, twice) but this is admittedly a movie for children so you can’t expect an Oscar-worthy script. If I had to list some actual criticisms, it would be that the movie opens poorly with an incredibly cliched opening which was not only confusing but incredibly rushed. It was the only point where I was a bit nervous about the movie. The third act is also a bit rushed and it felt slightly anti-climactic but other than that it’s an above-average family movie.
As for the elephant in the room whom I cannot believe I spent this long to discuss, Jim Carrey is great as Dr Robotnik / Eggman. The only rendition of this character that I know of is the one from the anime and he was very much a Power Rangers type of villain. He was very cheesy lines and incredibly over-the-top and so I couldn’t imagine anyone else but Carrey to portray him. I love that he added some new elements to the character. Anytime he’s in a scene your attention automatically diverts to him. He’s a literal scene-stealer. This is classic Carrey in every way and anyone who grew up on his movies will have a blast watching return to his zany, manic characters.
Sonic The Hedgehog offers an old-fashioned family movie experience with likeable characters, humour targeted towards the younger and older demographic and a fast-paced story with plenty of heart and action. The surprisingly likeable human characters, especially Marsden’s Tom has great chemistry with Schwartz’s Sonic, their friendship is undeniably the heart of the movie. Match that with Carrey’s over-the-top and zany Dr Robotnik and you have yourself a pretty great Sonic the Hedgehog movie!