Review: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ impresses viewers

Valentine’s Day release captures hearts of watchers


Courtesy of Sega.

As an origin story, the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie directed by Jeff Fowler was released on Friday, Feb. 14 and it proves every diamond starts out as coal. Prior to the release, the movie was plagued with backlash from long-time fans of the game franchise over the hideous design of its main character. Sega’s attempt to build a “brand” with the already popular hedgehog made the movie seem like a cash grab. With the release of the movie, fans have quickly forgotten about its past failures as it made $57 million throughout the opening weekend. This is not surprising as the movie finds humor in both the younger and older generations by delivering cheesy acting and excellent plot building despite the short runtime.

Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, is an alien who lives in a world eerily similar to the Green Hill Zone seen in the original games. Fans were satisfied with the reference to the classic Sonic games. This creates a unique origin story for the video-game character and is oddly well-developed, foreshadowing the potential cameo of other fan-favorite characters in the future. It is not all sunshine and roses however, as the rest of the story is seemingly rushed. Sonic becomes upset due to his loneliness on earth, runs in a circle extremely quickly and creates a power outage which gets Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, on his heels. In the one hour and 40 minute movie, this opening set-up takes a whopping 23 minutes, which leaves little time for other developments such as the friendship between Sonic and Tom, played by James Marsden.

The voice acting was satisfactory, although the voice actor for Sonic is probably the weakest in this film. Getting to display emotions through a CGI hedgehog can be difficult, when you are unable to be too extreme as the target audience is kids; however, at times it can be overly cheesy when Sonic is supposedly distressed. Although, the crisp animation, effects and camera angles make the action scenes in the movie impressive. Carrey plays the young, egotistical maniac of Dr. Robotnik to an expertise bound to get fans clamouring for future films. Tom, Sonic’s buddy for the entire movie is played well, and Marsden delivers quick one-liners and quips fluidly without making it awkward. All of the side characters do their jobs, with the exception of Tom’s wife Maddie played by Tika Sumpter who had little chemistry with the cast and the majority of her jokes fall flat to make her one of the boring characters in the movie.

The score in the movie was euphoric to the ear. It held its own when the movie needed it at the climax and was comfortable during times of little to no action. However, what clearly overshadows the score is the references to the original source material. An example is the use of Green Hill Zone, from the original video game. It is a faithful rendition of it, far better than the infamous “Sonic 06’s” representation of it. Later in the movie, a crazy town-member swears to have seen a “blue demon” and shows a drawing of a Sonic meme titled “Sanic” which will make those well versed in internet culture laugh.

The ending for “Sonic the Hedgehog” got movie-goers extremely excited for a planned sequel. This movie shocked the audience as it was expected to flop before turning into a commercial success. Fans embrace the blue hedgehog, and thus gets 4.5 points out of 5, missing half a point only because Sonic flossed twice throughout the film, a reference to Fortnite which was not received well by most.