BY KYLE LESNAK
“Sonic the Hedgehog”, directed by Jeff Fowler, was one of the first popular video game based movies to be released. It came out on Feb 14, 2020.
On an unknown planet, Sonic, a young blue anthropomorphic hedgehog is seen running around at supersonic speed until he’s attacked by a tribe of Echidna. His guardian, Longclaw the owl, gives Sonic a bag of rings that allows him to travel to other planets before using one to send him to Earth while she stays back to stop the Echidnas. Ten years later, Sonic lives in secrecy in Green Hills, Montana, but longs to make friends. He idolizes the local sheriff, Tom Wachowski, labeling him as the “Donut Lord” with his wife, Maddie, being “Pretzel Lady”. After playing baseball by himself, Sonic starts to realize how lonely he is and races around the field at top speed which ends up gathering a bunch of energy and causing a power outage. After the blackout, the United States Department of Defense reluctantly enlist the services of an eccentric genius, Dr. Robotnik to figure out what happened. Sonic, in a state of shock, tries to leave Earth while being chased by Robotnik and escapes to Tom’s shed. But, he is shot with a tranquilizer dart after Tom finds him. Before he passes out he sees the Transamerica Pyramid on Tom’s shirt which causes one of the rings to open and Sonic accidentally drops the bag into it. After he wakes up, Tom agrees to help him get the rings back before they get attacked by Robotnik. After finally getting away from the doctor and his robots, Tom starts to understand Sonic a lot more and sympathizes with his desire to make friends. Meanwhile, Robotnik finds one of Sonic’s quills and finds out how to harness its powers and give his robots the same speed as the blue blur.
Over the years, video game based movies haven’t been amazing. They always seem to not understand the base material and feel rushed when they try to squeeze an entire 8-hour story into just 2. But when it comes to the story, Sonic takes a safe route that proves to be the best decision for the hedgehog. Instead of basing this off of an existing story, they create something new and get to pace themselves without worrying about following something pre-established. And Sonic’s design worked pretty well into live-action, keeping his cartoony look and attitude. It looks a lot better than the more realistic-looking Sonic that was shown in the film’s first trailer. Ben Schwartz also does a great job at voicing him, portraying a young immature kid that’s been alone for most of his life. Meanwhile, Jim Carrey decides to steal the whole show bringing his style to the mad doctor. He strikes a great balance between a mad scientist and an annoying genius. Sadly, characters like Tom and Maddie end up getting pushed to the side because of this. While they have motives, they rarely ever feel explored in favor of watching Robotnik dance for 5 minutes. The story, while not bad, is nothing to brag about. It stays very safe and doesn’t feel very unique compared to other films.
This movie might be very average when it comes to the story. But with how well they adapted Sonic and its games, you can see the love that went into this, and I’m glad they didn’t cheap out on it. The future of this franchise looks bright. With a sequel coming out this April and a third movie already confirmed, you can expect a lot more of the blue blur on the big screen.
Categories: Entertainment, Opinion
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