'Sonic The Hedgehog' Review: Speedy Video Game Character Must Outrun Jim Carrey's Twirling Moustache
Let’s start with some honesty: I was just as terrified of Sonic The Hedgehog (directed by Jeff Fowler) both as a movie and as a furry creature when the first trailer dropped. The internet collectively sighed and deemed it destined for failure. Twitter hashtags were created, video essays were made and petitions were started to convince the studio to do it all over again. And for the first time a studio listened and gathered some money to redesign Sonic. What we got out of it is a movie that’s better than it had any right to be.
First of all, Ben Schwartz is a good fit as the voice of Sonic; he executes all of his speech patterns, loud versus quiet moments and dictions properly, never making it seem like too much improv but just enough improv. Overall the cast does a tight job; Jim Carrey (as Dr. Robotnik) gets some hit-or-miss jokes from the writers but his physical comedy is much better than it’s been in a long time since this doesn’t rely on cheap slapstick. James Marsden (Tom) does as good as he can acting against nothing really but good for him not acting too softly even then. Sonic’s CGI redesign is also a success as it’s not a distraction anymore, it actually looks slick when there are camera movements.
I can’t remember a film in recent memory that was this atrocious with its product placement. It’s just not one brand but it’s several egregious examples, the jokes about them—written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller—don’t land and therefore neither do the scenes work because of them. Bringing them back at the end makes it even worse. Other than that it does run into some traps that’ll make parts of it feel outdated, notably the flossing dance which happens twice (yes, twice!). Luckily that is somewhat balanced with nods to things that stood the test of time such as the Flash comics and Keanu Reeves. When all of it is put together under the supervision of director Jeff Fowler, Sonic The Hedgehog is a pretty harmless movie which is good time for kids and not too insufferable to adults next to them. You might even chuckle here or there.
Smileys: Ben Schwartz, character design
Frowneys: Production design
Since there were pop culture references, Tom’s wife should’ve been named Hannah. Hannah from Montana.