Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
It was almost a shoe in that I was going to go see this movie. No matter how far away from my normal it is. Growing up, you had your Mario games, which were always good, and the insanity that was Crash Bandicoot, where I spent most of my time. Then, you had Sonic The Hedgehog. A bright, colorful world, with some interesting music, that was all about going fast. Levels that were so much fun, and tested you each time. Doing your best to try and beat your top score. Trying to rescue the animals and defeat Eggman. While the years have not been as kind to him, as his Nintendo counterpart, the character of Sonic has maintained his allure, and when his movie was announced. Brought all of those feelings I had when playing the earlier games rushing back to the surface, and couldn’t wait to see it. Was it worth the wait though. Through all the years, and marketing fiasco. Did they do the blue hedgehog justice, or was it just another nail in the coffin. Lets jump through some rings and discuss shall we.
The movie starts out with Sonic running through a city, with Dr.Robotnik chasing after him. Firing rockets at him. A bit of narration later, and we jump all the way back to when he was a child. On his own planet, that looks a lot like the games, and he is running wild. Despite being told he had to keep his speed a secret, from his mother figure. An owl named Longclaw. Who scolds him for exposing himself like that, and they are attacked. She tries to escape with him, but ends up getting shot down. Using a ring, opens a portal to Earth. Giving him the sack of rings. Telling him to never expose himself again, and to never stop running. Before making him go through, and the portal closes, with her holding off their attackers. We jump to ten years later, and he has made himself home in the small town of Green Hills. While he has stayed true to Longclaw telling him to stay hidden. He has made himself a part of everyone’s lives. By watching from the shadows. From messing with Crazy Carl, the lone person who knows he is there and especially the Police Chief Tom Wachowski and wife Maddie Wachowski, and while he puts on a good face about it. The loneliness is eating away, until it literally bursts out of him. Causing a massive blackout. Which is picked up immediately by the Government. Who sends in the eccentric genius, Dr. Robotnik to figure it out. Sonic seeing that he is about to be caught. Collects his things and runs to Tom’s shed to make the jump to a new planet, but before he can go through with it. Is busted by Tom, and he drops the rings into a portal. Sending them to San Francisco. Enlisting Tom’s help, Sonic sets off to retrieve them, with Robotnix right on their heels the entire way. Dead set on either bringing him in, either alive or dead.
I really enjoyed how they handled bringing the characters to the big screen. Had a lot of simple things that were just woven into one story. From Sonic struggling to keep himself a secret, but being torn apart in his loneliness. His desire to have friends and do all this stuff he can only observe from afar. When you mix in how hyper active and good natured he is, really shows many layers Sonic actually has. Then you have Tom, who is longing to have more in his life. To be a hero, and have the excitement and rush that he feels should come with a badge. Along with a foil of a bad guy, who is not only the smartest guy in the world, but knows it, and brow beats and terrorizes everyone in his wake. Mix in fast paced action, comedic moments, and a lot of emotion and you get yourself a really charming story.
Speaking of, the action scenes were perfect. It took him back to his roots and made it all about his speed. Showing it in the bar that he can’t throw fists, but when he just uses his speed to his advantage, is next to unstoppable. Especially in the finale, during the final chase from Robotnik. Didn’t know how he was going to turn things around, but excited to see how it was going to happen.
Now, suppose I should talk about the animated look of Sonic The Hedgehog. Now, I may be the rare exception that didn’t mind his first look. They definitely made the right choice though. With all the close ups they had on him. Would have wore thin on those who didn’t like it, and he looks better now, but the part I loved, was the end credits. They had a full animated look of the Sonic from the game. Running through a level, that was set up with moments from the movie. Was such a fun way to bring us into the Mid Credit scene and hope more people take a lesson from this, because it was great.
Of course, there was plenty of call outs to the games. Living in Green Hills, which is a play off the Green Hill Zone. Love how they showed how he got his red shoes, in a rather touching scene of him getting his first ever gift and how much they meant to him. This might be me reading to much into it, but found it amusing that when he was hit off the roof and the rings went everywhere, like they would in the game, but when he was knocked down for what appeared to be for the count, was also when he didn’t have the rings on him, which again, what happens in the game. Also, Robotnik’s robots, and one downed robot would spawn another and another. Really showing how much of a genius he really is. Plus, one that really wasn’t part of the game, but loved the line, I hate mushrooms. Taking a friendly jab at his rival Mario which got me to laugh a little harder than necessary. Always have to appreciate when they pull from the resources at hand, and they do that in spades here.
Castwise was simply perfect. Ben Schwartz did wonderful as the voice of Sonic. Bringing out the fun loving side of Sonic, but also how hard he was taking having to leave. Was finally getting to enjoy Earth one moment and how much that it hurt that he had to leave. James Marsden was great as Tom. A fun loving cop, who lives to do the right thing by everyone, with a ton of sarcastic wit. Which blended so well off not only Sonic, but even more off Jim Carrey’s Robotnik. There is a moment where Robotnik and Tom meet and just feels like a really conversation off the cuff and not scripted. Carrey doesn’t seem to have missed a beat. Bringing out so much of Robotnik. Eccentricities, Egomaniacal, and stole a lot of the scenes he was a part of. Made the comically villain seem like a genuine threat and not just a joke. Just wanted to see more of him especially if it was with Sonic or Tom especially.
Negative wise.. Would kind of like to know why Sonic called him Eggman. He had a reason behind everyone’s nickname. Called Tom Donut Lord due to him talking to his donuts, and Maggie the Pretzel Lady because she does Yoga. Kind of hyped for the DVD to see if there was something I missed or deleted scenes. Suppose that since I am hyped this isn’t a negative, but it’s all I got, and starting to realize that I am pretty much praising every movie I have seen this years and it’s all I got.
This was all around, just a fun, heart warming movie. It wasn’t side splitting movie, just one that made you smile, and even more so if you are a fan of the Sonic The Hedgehog Games, but not necessary to kick back and simply enjoy it. Final Grade is an A+ and would gladly suggest checking it out in theaters.
I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.