Spoiler alert: no. No, it isn’t. It’s a fun movie, sure! But is it truly good? Not really.
The Sonic movie was simultaneously one of the most generic and bizarre cinematic experiences I’ve ever had. On one hand, you have an incredibly generic, by-the-numbers kids movie starring a CGI animal mascot, featuring some truly terrible dialogue. On the other, you have a very fast-paced story that keeps you engaged from start to end, a cast of actors giving it their all, and a team of animators that reverently recreated one of video game’s most iconic characters in a live-action form!
After, you know, completely butchering him the first time around.
Plot: So, I Guess He’s An Alien?
Why did he have to be an alien? I don’t understand.
After being sent to Earth through a portal as a baby by an owl (not a joke), Sonic the Hedgehog grows up alone, hiding his powers and very existence from the world. But when his emotions get the better of him and he causes a mass power outage, he finds himself pursued by the US government, led by the maniacal genius Dr. Robotnik. When he loses his only method of escape, Sonic must travel to San Francisco with a human police officer named Tom Wachowski (also not a joke) to get them back and escape.
So it’s basically a perfect adaptation of the original Genisis game.
This is your typical generic kids’ movie fare. All of the characters are likable but flat and forgettable, the character development is extremely quick, and the ending is as predictable as… well, a Sonic game! It’s dumb and simple.
The only two characters that are memorable are Sonic and Robotnik. Which is a good thing, considering that those are the two that needed to be memorable! But it’s more because of the actors behind them than it is the writing. Sonic’s personality is basically just Deadpool, fourth-wall-breaking and all, and Eggman is an egotistical, crazy genius. Again: both fun, but not especially deep.
Not like the best Sonic character, Shadow the Hedgehog. But hopefully, they can fit him into the sequel.
It helps that the story’s pacing is super fast! No scene overstays its welcome; they come and they go quickly, giving the movie a constant feeling of progression. Unlike a lot of similar kids’ movies, this one doesn’t waste your time. It takes what could have easily been a highly annoying, boring movie and makes it super fun and engaging!
This isn’t a masterclass in cinematic writing. It’s dumb and it’s fun. If you’re a kid or a Sonic fan, you’ll find a lot to be enjoyed here!
Presentation: Saved the Movie
Okay, let’s get this one right out of the way. The Sonic redesign saved this movie! If they had kept the old design, none of his scenes would have worked! Let’s take a moment to salute all the poor animators who had to work crunch-time to reanimate this movie. Hopefully, they all managed to find good work after their studio shut down.
Even if I desperately want to see the original cut. No joke, I’d kill a man to see that!
In terms of visuals, this movie is pretty forgettable. The cinematography is passable at best and the special effects are decent. The music is fine but forgettable. The movie is bright and colorful, but there isn’t anything here that will stick in your mind. It’s a decent looking movie, but not a great one.
The most noteworthy thing here is Sonic himself. Like I said, redesigning him legitimately saved the movie! The new design is faithful to the game and it looks great on screen! Just looking at him puts a smile on my face!
Still, I need to say it. #releaseuglySonic
Performances: Saving the Script
Surprisingly enough, all of the acting in this movie is really good! I can’t think of a single bad performance here! Everyone is giving it one-hundred percent! Which is especially impressive considering how bad the dialogue is! These people were handed a terrible script and they made it work!
The easy highlight is Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. His character has some of the worst lines in the movie, especially in his introductory scene, but Carrey has so much energy and charisma that it’s hard to care! There’s something magnetic about him, something that just sucks you in and puts a big smile on your face! Plus, he totally looks the part, especially in his final scene! Every time he was on-screen, I had a big doofy grin on my face!
Ben Shwarts, the voice of Sonic, was another stand-out performance. His voice carries a ton of energy, fitting the blue blur perfectly! He masterfully captures his cocky 90s attitude with every line! Sonic can be annoying at times, but I feel that falls more on the dialogue than the actor. I honestly can’t imagine a better casting than this!
Everyone else in the movie did a great job, but they don’t stand out nearly as much as the two stars. They’re there to service the plot and they do it really well. Every member of the cast was clearly giving it their all!
Which is odd. Considering that this movie is… this movie.
Honestly, I’m amazed by how much I liked this movie! It was far more fun to watch than I had anticipated! Sure, it’s still a dumb movie for kids! But it was exactly what a lot of movies fail to be: entertaining!
It’s definitely not for everyone. Kids will enjoy it. Sonic fans might get a kick out of it. But if you fall into neither category? You probably won’t enjoy it as much as some other people are.
That pretty much sums up my recommendation for Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. If you have kids, are a kid (what are you doing here?), or you love Sonic, I’d recommend catching this one. But if you’re a single, childless person with no love for the character, steer clear. Go someplace else for two hours.
Like Olive Garden. If this movie taught me anything, it’s that that restaurant is the premier location for everything!