Speeding little trail of blue in red boots? Everyone knows this beloved character who’s been around for nearly 3 decades in some form of media. But just like every film that is based on a video game, there comes a natural stigma associated with it. A few years ago, Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider seemed to have been rid of the so-called videogame movie curse but it fell somewhat flat with the critics. Personally, I loved it. And while Sonic the Hedgehog has its downfalls, entertainment value is certainly not amongst them – as has been visible from the box-office numbers.
The film begins with Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz), an extraterrestrial blue hedgehog who is chased from his home videogame dimension to Earth by some villains (who for some reason never make an appearance again). Sonic spends years hiding in the small town of Green Hills and observing people from a distance, wishing he could end his loneliness by revealing himself. Sonic accidentally taps into his speed-induced powers resulting in a detonation that alerts the US government to his existence. The resulting story is somewhat akin to a comedic version of ET where government agents hunt an alien who makes a friend in the very likeable form of the local Sheriff, Tom (James Marsden). Tom helps Sonic escape capture from the evil Dr. Robotnik played by Jim Carrey who is clearly enjoying himself in the role.
The film feels somewhat like a buddy comedy film about Sonic and Tom and strangely enough, the dynamic actually works. Marsden gives a very believable performance against the fully CGI Sonic who fits right in and after a while you even forget he’s not really in frame. This I believe is an advantage resultant of pushing the release date of this film back a few months in order to completely redesign the character of Sonic following the internet backlash to the trailer. The uncanny valley effect was the main criticism amongst a plethora of others and you know, just sometimes, maybe sometimes, listening to the fans will actually yield in a better product – just like in this case!
Jim Carrey shines as Dr. Robotnik who looks like a villain who stepped right out of a 90s set and his over-the-top portrayal might not work with adults but given that it’s mainly targeted at kids, it’s not really a problem. Plus it’s Jim Carrey so what the hell right?
The film has some legit funny moments which are amongst its best. As videogame adaptations go, Sonic the Hedgehog is definitely a well-made film and warrants a sequel – do stay around for that one particular scene – Sega fans won’t be disappointed!
Courtesy of Akash SK