The cast deliver decent performances, and James Marsden is charming (as always)
Not entirely memorable
Suffers a little bit from an identity crisis
Let’s first address the hedgehog in the room: Sonic the Hedgehog looks good. Great, even.
Has it really been almost a year since the collective internet cringed and laughed in equal measures at Sonic the Hedgehog’s initial appearance? Yes it has. Has it improved dramatically? Yes.
What hasn’t improved is the film’s confused sense of identity. Unlike Pixar’s ridiculously well-honed combination of making family films that some burrow deep into an adult’s psyche, Sonic the Hedgehog is like two different films mashed into one. One film is the nostalgia and reference laden movie targeted at people that are actually fans of Sonic (remember, the property is pretty old, and has nowhere the staying power like say, Pokemon), and the other is as typical a children’s film as it comes.
The movie did do pretty well in both respects, but the combination does give the viewer a little bit of whiplash. That said, the movie actually pays decent respect to its property by adapting it to the big screen instead of just stuffing memorable franchise moments into a highlight reel. It’s an all-together cookie cutter plot but it isn’t bad, which is a lot more than could be said for most video game adaptations. (*cough* Assassin’s Creed *cough*)
Ben Schwartz puts in a decent turn as Sonic the Hedgehog with his frenetic pace and energy, but it’s the two live-action stars that steal the show. James Marsden, portraying Tom Wachowski, plays a surprisingly charming foil to the titular character. There’s a convincing sense of camaraderie and companionship between the two, which can be difficult when one part of the duo is an animated, anthropomorphic hedgehog.
Jim Carrey will be Jim Carrey. No matter how terribly written the movie is, Carrey more than carries his weight, and it’s no different in this film. The funniest parts of the movie can be attributed to the eccentric Doctor Robotnik, better known as Doctor Eggman. Jim Carrey having fun on screen is infectious and it bleeds through to the rest of the film.
Will it go down in history as a great video game adaptation? Probably not. It is however a decent film with a bit of an identity crisis that is fairly funny and heartwarming that will prove to be an adequate summer flick for the whole family.