Sonic the Hedgehog
So, it’s finally here. After one of the first instances of Twitter users collectively shaming a studio into redesigning its film, Sonic the Hedgehog has arrived. Sadly, it appears that more than a few months were needed to perform the necessary surgery to salvage this flick. Jim Carrey is the bright spark in a dimly uninteresting adaptation of Sega’s much-loved video game series.
The film was much loathed after the first teaser trailer shocked fans with its confused take on how to animate its hero. New, larger eyes were drawn on, but, fatally, it seems little work was done to imbue the titular role with any charm. Instead, Sonic (Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz) is unconscionably irritating. Perhaps this is down to him being alone for decades, as he hides from the evil forces on his home planet.
At a very young age Sonic is teleported to Green Hills, Montana, Earth and ordered to never stop running. He never stops talking, either. Having been on his own for an interminably long time, the alien hedgehog understandably has little to no people skills. This is about as logical as the film gets, in the one instance the audience needed something illogical. Much like large swathes of his target audience, Sonic is essentially a whiny kid, and hyperactive to a fault.
Primarily a buddy comedy, the movie sees Sonic strike up a bromance with the sheriff of Green Hills, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). The pair has all the chemistry of friends in a tired car commercial. On this topic, cultural references and product placements don’t equate to good scriptwriting. The references are ceaseless and largely unnecessary.
At times it loosely resembles Deadpool, without the effective plot, dialogue, charm, hilarity, or self-awareness. But a better comparison is Detective Pikachu, itself subject to much ridicule following a perplexing trailer. Ryan Reynolds successfully worked his Deadpool shtick into a kid’s film, whereas Schwartz’s Sonic struggles to breathe life into a script devoid of wit and weighed down by tedium.
A word on the plot, though, which has Sonic and Officer Wachowski on the run from the government-contracted Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Robotnick – or Eggman, as Sonic calls him once apropos of nothing (except that that is his name in the games) – is a tech genius. His drones are on the hunt for Sonic – the source of an incredible energy surge. Ironically, Carrey’s performance is itself a vital surge of energy, enlivening an otherwise forgettable film.
Having abandoned the pretence of having to stay hidden, Sonic is seen walking around San Francisco on his way to the long-awaited face-off with Robotnik. Hurriedly, the movie reaches its messy finale before hinting at a sequel.
The nostalgia-chasers won’t be too impressed with this lame adaptation, and there isn’t a whole lot for children to get excited about. However, with Carrey’s excellence redolent of his own 90s works, the studio may well have delivered its desired nostalgia hit – just not the one it was hoping for.
Sonic the Hedgehog is released nationwide on 14th February 2020.
Watch the trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog here: