Sonic the Hedgehog, the popular SEGA character, is the next in line to test the theory that all video game movies are bad. With the release of Detective Pikachu in May last year—a movie that seemingly broke the mold when it came to bad video game movies—people held high expectations for this movie.
People’s fears were brought to fruition when the first trailer was released. Fans were absolutely revolted by Sonic’s design, comparing it to the likes of a dirty fursuit and calling it “disgraceful,” The movie would not have made $43 million if it had not been for Sonic’s complete redesign, which pushed the movie’s release date back from November 8, 2019, to Valentine’s Day of this year. The redesign costed Paramount Pictures about $3 million dollars.
However, despite Sonic’s haunting old design, the movie showed promise. With actor Jim Carrey taking on the role of Dr. Robotnik and James Marsden playing Sonic’s human companion. James Marsden seems to have an affinity for movies of this type, as he played Fred O’Hare in the 2011 movie Hop, which has the same premise as this movie. A creature from a faraway place is guided around earth by an unexpecting human, hopefully to return home.
To many fans delight, this movie was phenomenal. Ben Schwartz was a perfect casting for Sonic’s voice, bringing the hedgehog to life in a new and refreshing way. Schwartz was beautifully complemented by the one and only, Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey has starred in a number of movies: The Mask, Ace Ventura, The Grinch, Dumb and Dumber, and other family classics. Carrey’s infamous acting style carries onto each of his movies, almost like he gains an ability from each role he’s casted into.
The homages in this movie was also amazing. From the iconic ring scattering noise used from time to time, a slowed down more classical feel to Sonic’s iconic track, Green Hill Zone. The figure 8 Sonic’s legs made when he ran, even the main town was called Green Hill. It was obvious that the movie was made by people who cared about the franchise.
However, the most jarring issue would be the CGI of Sonic himself. While the new design augments Sonic’s adorable personality—and fixes the monstrosity that we had before—Sonic himself is very jarring in scenes between himself and regular people. I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable every once-in-awhile when he was on screen and interacting with other characters. He seemed out of place when compared to the live action backgrounds, making it slightly difficult to watch some of his scenes.
The movie is also, very clearly, for small children. When we went to see it, the theater was filled to the brim with parents with their children. I could feel myself getting sick half-way through the movie. The humor is clearly for kids and can be a bit low brow at times. However, I grew up on early 2000s movies, and this movie gave me such deep nostalgia for those times.