Most of us have been around long enough to recognise the furry little blue speedster known as Sonic The Hedgehog, SEGA’s mascot of over 20 years. Yet, many of us felt mixed reactions to the news that a live-action adaptation was being made based on the Sonic The Hedgehog games.
With the first wave of teasers depicting a horrible rendition of the character (which I still believe was a brilliant PR move), there was little hope for the film. However, thanks to the power of fandom (or brilliant PR strategy), the film underwent a complete refresh, resulting in one of the best opening weekends at the box office for a video game film adaptation.
So, does the Sonic The Hedgehog (“Sonic”) film live up to the hype? It’s difficult to say.
The film follows a narrative that is largely predictable. Sonic is a creature with special abilities from another planet. After leaving his home planet to escape captivity, he retreats to Earth and meets Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), the Sheriff of a small town who’s determined to save lives. Of course, Sonic’s alien nature sparks an investigation that results in him crossing paths with the evil genius, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). What ensues is a typical James Marsden film; man and talking animal-creature work together to overcome conflict and save the world.
If the predictable nature of the film doesn’t excite you, then the visual effects certainly will. As someone who grew up with Sonic The Hedgehog games and cartoons, seeing a live action version of the main character using what looked very much like The Flash’s speed force, leaving a trail of blue lightning wherever he runs, looked incredible. Not only that but Robotnik’s various gadgets looked fitting to a film of the 2020s.
Speaking of Robotnik, Jim Carey was certainly born for the role, bringing back his iconic ‘Jim Carey-ness’ to the big screen. His character development and personality certainly shone through and was, for me, the main reason why I enjoyed the film.
In terms of Sonic, himself? Well there wasn’t really any notable character development apart from the standard ‘growing up’ that one would expect of a character by the conclusion of a film. Once again, it’s all about that predictability in this film, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
There are certainly moments throughout the film that entices audiences to cheer Sonic on as he outwits Robotnik and of course there’s some pretty good soundtrack music to further put you in the mood.
Beyond that, Sonic the Hedgehog was really one of those family friendly films that kids will love and parents can either watch along with awe or tune out to. It’s definitely the perfect film to keep the kids busy over the school holidays!