Monday, February 10, 2020

Review: Sonic the Hedgehog

Release date: February 14, 2020
Running time: 99 minutes
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, James Marsden

Who would have thought that a movie based on a 90s videogame with a less than stellar recent track record would be good?  I definitely didn't think so after the debacle of the first trailer.  But thankfully, the Sonic movie is a really fun movie!  It quickly endears itself to you with enough references and callbacks to the film to keep you entertained.  In it, Sonic is an alien from another planet blah blah, who cares!  The story itself, like most sonic video games, is only a vehicle for good effects, a sense of speed, and the hedgehog putting himself into ever more perilous moments.  

The hearts of this movie really comes from two sources.  The first is the enjoyable camaraderie between Sonic (perfectly voiced by Schwartz) and Sheriff Wachowski (Marsden).  The two play off each other well with Sonic speaking quickly, telling good and bad jokes, and getting into all sorts of trouble.  Marsden, is the perfect foil to Schwartz, a calmer, more confident figure to counteract Sonic's crazy style.  Schwartz does a fantastic job as Sonic and really seems to get the character and his mannerisms.  The other source is Jim Carrey's amazing performance as Dr. Robotnik.  It seems like the filmmakers just told him to go crazy and do what he wanted to.  He has some really funny lines, some outbursts that come from nowhere, and even a part where he just dances during his evil plan.  It doesn't always make sense for the character, but it is always enjoyable.  In fact, most of the Sonic movie doesn't really tie itself to the video games, and that is a good thing.  The filmmakers took the characters and many of the elements, and rather than being saddled by them, made a thoroughly enjoyable film on top of them.  

As with the Sonic video games, Sonic the Hedgehog has really good effects and an amazing sense of speed.  The risk in a computer generated film is that the CG can break your immersion, but here they do just enough to bring Sonic to life without pulling you out of the movie.  And as you would expect from a film based on a video game series, the movie also has plenty of throwbacks to the Sonic games.  From ring sound effects, to actual rings, to some animations and expressions that are inspired by the video game, there is definitely enough nostalgia here to please Sonic fans.   

Sonic the Hedgehog is an entertaining re-imagining of the classic video game.  It's wonderful performances, great special effects, and plenty of humor and callbacks to the game will quickly entertain you!

Watch It

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