Sonic the Hedgehog: 7/10 Gold Rings

When the theaters reopen, here’s one to see for a few hours of fun distraction

by Darby O'Neill

“Gotta go fast.”

For readers who have no clue what I’m talking about, this is the catchphrase of Sonic. A blue hedgehog with the ability to run at the speed of sound. The evil Dr. Robotnik wants to turn all the animals on their island into robots, so Sonic and his friends go through levels, collect power-supplying gold rings, and use their powers to stop Dr. Robotnik’s plans. They are all a part of SEGA’s Sonic video game franchise, the first game being released in 1991. In 2014, SEGA announced plans to start production for a Sonic movie, originally to be released in November 2019.

The original trailer was released in April of 2019 and Sonic. Looked. Horrendous.

His eyes were hyper-realistic and it looked less like a video game being brought to life and more like something from nightmares being brought back from the dead. Everyone on social media was so aggressive about how bad it looked, the animators took it back into production and redesigned Sonic’s character, promising to give audiences the Sonic they deserved. I was so open to seeing this movie mainly because I wanted to support the animators who stuck to their word and reanimated the entire film in a matter of months. The CGI turned out nicely, I can reassure you, this is not another “Cats” scare.

The acting in this film was decent, especially from James Marsden, who you have to give props to for co-starring with empty air. He played Tom Wachowski, a policeman who helped Sonic along his journey. Between Sonic, the chipmunk in “Enchanted,” and “Hop,” his resume of acting alongside a CGI animal is racking up to be rather impressive. (Do the Oscars have a category for that?)

Now, as for Jim Carrey, who plays the villain, Dr. Robotnik. He didn’t necessarily do a bad job, I thought he played the character well. That is, if the character was Jim Carrey. In all honesty, I’ve never liked Carrey’s work because I genuinely believe all the characters he plays are the exact same. You want to see him play Jim Carrey with a bunch of animals? Watch Ace Ventura: pet detective. You want to see him play Jim Carrey in green makeup? The Grinch and The Mask are both available. 

Aside from the Truman Show, Sonic the Hedgehog was just another name on my list of movies where Carrey plays himself. On a positive note, I do have to give the movie’s writers points for the undeniable, intense tension between Dr. Robotnik and his male assistant. The eye contact, the pinning against a wall, I was almost scared I had walked into the wrong kind of ‘film’. 

For the majority of the movie, I felt like it wasn’t paying a good homage to the original game. Yes, they have Sonic, his speed, his rings, and the villain, but it didn’t feel very in character. They could’ve replaced sonic with some other CGI original character with powers and it would’ve been the exact same movie.

However, this opinion was slightly changed in a post-credit scene that introduced a new character as well as revamping an existing one. I won’t say too much, but it made me feel better about the film as a whole and I wished it had been more of a focus throughout the actual movie instead of a ten-second teaser at the very end. It’s like the only reason they made this movie was to set up for a big sequel. Guess I gotta buy my tickets now!

Would I recommend this film? Absolutely. Especially if you’re a fan of the franchise. Despite my being hard on it, I thought it was really fun and well put together. Sonic grew to be a very lovable character who I couldn’t help but sympathize with. Is it perfect? No. Did I have to watch Sonic floss twice? Sadly, yes. Is it Oscar-worthy? Hopefully not. (But I am rooting for James Marsden.) Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a light-hearted movie to see with friends or younger siblings, I give it my stamp of approval.

Seven out of ten gold rings.