Courtesy of Sega
Video games, as popular as they are, have had a spotty history when it comes to film adaptations. While franchises like Pokémon have had success with animated features and with the recent success of Detective Pikachu, this is the exception rather than the rule.
When it was announced that Sega would be producing a live-action movie featuring their flagship old-school character Sonic the Hedgehog, people were skeptical to say the least, but in the end, the public seems to have loved it. So without further ado, this review will cover why the Blue Blur is a huge step for video game movies. The lovable characters and fun action are sure to speed their way into people’s hearts.
A major strong point of this film is its plot. It’s not deep, complex, or anything of the sort, but it’s easy to follow and fun to watch. The film follows Sonic (Ben Schwartz) and police officer Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). It follows the story of how Sonic came to Earth, and his quest to escape the clutches of an evil government robotics expert, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). It’s usually lighthearted, with some touching moments sprinkled throughout that makes the viewer really care about the young hedgehog. And yes, the plot moves a bit fast, but given the subject matter that’s to be expected. While it’s no masterpiece, it’s still a blast to watch.
The effects are another win. When the first trailers came out, many were maddened by Sonic’s too-human facial features, but Sega took the criticism to heart and delayed the movie, spending an extra $5 million to re-do the character design. Just like the plot, the effects aren’t hyper realistic or mind-blowing, but they blend perfectly with the characters and add to the action.
The acting is once again very good, even if some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy. Carrey blows it out of the water with his megalomaniacal performance as Robotnik, and his energy and gloating is matched perfectly by the angst of Schwartz’s Sonic. Marsden also does a great job playing a middle character between the two, and it really feels like Tom’s caught up in something he doesn’t want to be.
Overall, the best thing about “Sonic the Hedgehog” is that you don’t have to be a longtime franchise fan to enjoy and understand the film. While knowing a bit about the character may help viewers appreciate his backstory more, it is by no means necessary. Many video game movies in the past have been described as “good for fans” or “good for a video game movie.” However, “Sonic the Hedgehog” is one of the few that can just be called a good movie without anything adding to that. With the film’s ending hinting at a sequel, here’s to hoping that Sega can keep the light-speed magic going.