After seeing Sonic the Hedgehog, I am convinced that Pokémon
Detective Pikachu was a fluke being the only decent video-game movie that
isn’t a cynical cash-grab with a famous video game character slapped on the
I’m actually quite confused as to why a Sonic movie of all things is being made now. Sure, the character is popular thanks to a bevy of solo titles
and numerous appearances in Nintendo crossover games like Mario & Sonic
At the Olympic Games and Super Smash Bros., but that alone isn’t a
good enough reason.
The biggest thing to come out of this movie is the idea that
if the internet shouts loud with anger and vitriol, film studios will
apparently listen and cater to those voices. For history’s sake, the first Sonic
trailer featured a wildly different look for the character which horrified fans
who then demanded the look be changed. This effects overhaul pushed the release
date by about three months and cost an added $5 million to the $90 million
budget. And I guess it all worked because hey, he looks like the character from
Too bad literally nothing else even remotely feels like those
Sonic the Hedgehog is what happens when a studio
needs a franchise. They scour the realms of culture looking for something,
anything, to make a series of films out of, based on intellectual property that
people recognise, but with Paramount it feels like they never cared for
anything in the games. Sonic doesn’t have Tails or Knuckles to go on adventures
with, so we’re just stuck with him learning what Earth is, even though that has
never happened in any of the games because, well, they aren’t set on Earth. His
powers have never been something to hide, he’s never had lightning or
electrical powers, and those golden rings are not teleportation devices.
All of these changes aren’t “offensive” or anything, but
what it does show is a complete lack of care for what this world or character
really is and a cynical attempt for the studio to ape dozens of better ideas
from superhero movies.
Those portals in Doctor Strange and Avengers:
Endgame were pretty cool? Well let’s just throw that in there.
Remember those X-Men movies with the super-fast guy? Well
let’s put Sonic in those exact same sequences complete with identical effects
and the same cues of older music adding to the fun of slow-motion hijinks.
And you know what? Let’s just throw in an obligatory
sky-beam as well as basically the same lightning superpower realisation sequence
like Wonder Woman and Thor: Ragnarok had.
Smash all these random ideas from better movies then slap a
known property on the front and boom! Sonic the Hedgehog.
It’s pretty obvious from this Frankenstein’s monster of
recognisable ideas mixed with tedious humour that this movie is really only for
kids under the age of 12. Is that the worst thing in the world? No. It just
means that anyone else will feel alienated and rather bored from unfunny jokes,
bland action sequences, an obvious plot about knowing where home is (gag),
Michael Bay-levels of in-your-face product placement, and be mildly amused when
Jim Carrey shows up and performs like he’s in a completely different movie.
You feel sorry for James Marsden and Tika Sumpter who,
despite solid chemistry with each other, are forced into tired scenes we’ve
seen and done before in The Smurfs or the other “James Marsden helps a
CG anthropomorphic animal find its purpose” movie Hop, which no-one has
seen since. The movie desperately wants you to feel a bond forming between
Sonic and Marsden’s Tom but scene after scene of one learning something from
the other with paint-by-numbers dialogue is not going to do it.
Sonic the Hedgehog will entertain your kids enough
for 90 minutes thanks to rapid colours, mindless action, inoffensive cringe
humour, and a few Fortnite references thrown in there because why not, but just
know that this is as generic as you can get. It barely holds together as an
actual movie with purpose, instead coming across as an unoriginal attempt to
start a new franchise and save Paramount Studios from yet another disappointing
box office year. For some, that might be enough, but for this reviewer, I still
sat expressionless and listless watching Sonic the Hedgehog be tepid and
Scwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey
Writers: Pat Casey, Josh Miller, (Based on the Sonic the Hedgehog game series by Sega)
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