It may not be a must-see cinematic event, but Paramount’s run with the classic SEGA character delivers the escapist goods that the film’s target audience desires.
BY: Harry Wang
As a lifelong Sonic fan, my feelings towards the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was, like the titular video game, a roller-coaster ride. From the disappointment of witnessing Sonic’s ugly first design to the anxiety-inducing redesign delay, and finally the euphoric experience of watching Sonic’s awesome final design, to say that my anticipation for Sonic went up and down would be an understatement.
Sonic’s plot, like its protagonist, is incredibly simple and fast-paced. Sonic (Ben Schwartz) is chased down by Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), a mad scientist hungry for Sonic’s superpowers. To foil Robotnik’s evil plan, Sonic works with policeman Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). Aside from a few callbacks only die-hard fans of the video game franchise would recognize, Sonic had little surprises and twists: what you read from the synopsis is what you see in the film. As a result, the film is easily digestible for audiences of all ages, and its reasonable runtime (100 minutes) retains younger viewers’ attention.
Jim Carrey returns to his roster of goofy, crazy, but charismatic characters as Dr. Robotnik, better known as Doctor Eggman. Similar to Carrey’s best comedic roles, Robotnik shines with his frenzied and vibrant energy, and he steals scenes time and again throughout the film. While fans of Carrey will certainly cherish his return to form, fans of Sonic will surely appreciate Carrey’s adaptation as one of the most notorious video-game villains of all time, and hopefully Robotnik will return in the future.
Schwartz and Marsden are the perfect duo as Wachowski and Sonic. Filled with charming chemistry, Wachowski and Sonic’s friendship carries the emotional weight of the movie, as it is impossible not to find yourself emotionally invested in the dynamic duo. Although Sonic sends the overused message that friends are important, Wachowski and Sonic prove that the message — when delivered correctly — never gets old. The two develop a pure and sweet friendship that not only makes Sonic entertaining, but also surprisingly emotional, feel-good and stress-free cinematic event. In an age where many blockbusters are filled with cliches, I was delighted to hear the audience behind me praising the movie as “the best time ever” after the credits rolled.
Sonic is not a must-see. It has no jaw-dropping visual effects, plot twists, or real storytelling vigor. However, it wins the audience over with its pure, charming, and crowd-pleasing energy. Those who do not see Sonic are not going to miss out on anything, but those who do will definitely enjoy the escapism it offers.