Pros: Remade Sonic and his jokes; Jim Carrey’s inspired performance; references to locations from classic games; good graphics and tricks Cons: Absolutely secondary and unoriginal plot; most of the characters are formulaic and uninteresting Sonic the Hedgehog / “Sonic the Hedgehog”
Genre film based on the game
Director Jeff Fowler
Cast: Ben Schwartz (Sonic), Jim Carrey (Ivo Robotnik/Dr. Eggman), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski), Lee Majdaub (Stone), Adam Pally (Billy Robb), Neal McDonough (Major Bennington) ), Frank Charles Turner (Crazy Karl), etc.
Студии Sega Sammy Group, Original Film, Paramount Pictures
Year of release 2020
The plot of Sonic the Hedgehog / “Sonic the Hedgehog” is absolutely no different from the plot of the other 100,500 films about a cute, lonely alien who, by the will of fate, ended up on Earth and made friends with a couple of good guys or girls. Instead of the blue jet hedgehog, familiar to us from a dozen games, there could be a wrinkled alien with a funny neck who prefers to fly on bicycles; a rusty yellow Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 that can transform into a combat robot; an underground octopus that has taken over an SUV; a failed combat robot suffering from a short circuit; a fifty-year-old green baby in an anti-gravity stroller; a robot cop turned street gang member; yes anyone. The essence would not change. Sonic the Hedgehog is just another formulaic story about how a lonely and lost stranger finds true family and home in a place he didn’t expect.
Yes, the filmmakers can be justified by the fact that such secondary nature is natural for a film in which we are supposed to be introduced to a new hero. But excuse me, Sonic games have been coming out for almost thirty years, and there are probably not many people on Earth who do not know the blue jet hedgehog and his nemesis with an IQ exceeding 300 points. Again, character introduction is important, of course, but why repeat all the clichés you can find in teen fiction, from the funny introduction to the dog to the awkward confession of affection.
And the characters?! All the characters in the film, except for the actual digital Sonic and Dr. Eggman, look like functions, not real people. Here is a right, exemplary policeman without a glimmer of thought on his honest face and with an obsessive desire to save people. It is symbolic that this role was given to James Marsden, who once played the handsome prince in Enchanted (2007). Here is the wife of a brave policeman, pretty and correct to the point of disgust, ready to support her husband no matter what he does. Here is the funny sister of the brave policeman’s wife, the second, after Sonic himself, source of jokes in the film. Here is a cowardly and indecisive assistant to a brave policeman who will show courage at the most important moment of the film. Here is the city madman who knows more than others. Here is the main villain’s assistant, mindlessly adoring and perhaps even in love with his boss. Here… we can continue endlessly. People-functions, templates, uttering template phrases.
The only truly interesting characters in the film, as mentioned above, are Sonic and his eternal enemy Dr. Eggman. And even then, Eggman (if anyone didn’t know, his real name is Dr. Ivo Robotnik, and it even appears a couple of times in the Sonic games) turned out so colorful primarily thanks to the inspired performance of Jim Carrey, and not his own originality. Without a truly great performance by Carrie, Eggman would have remained the same cliched villain, chasing the main character just to satisfy his own ego. Thank God this is not the case, and at some points I even feel sorry for Eggman. Surrounded by an army of loyal robots and worthless people unworthy of his intelligence, he is no less lonely than Sonic, living as an outcast on an alien planet. Kerry in this film for once resembles himself twenty years ago; the last time he acted so selflessly was almost in The Mask, which was released 26 years ago. In general, Kerry rarely appears on the big screen lately; the last films with his participation were released back in 2016, so the actor’s return can only be welcomed.
From the first part of this review, you might get the impression that I didn’t like Sonic the Hedgehog at all. This is wrong. Despite the absolute derivativeness and blatant stereotypes, the film looks very good and pleases with unpretentious but funny jokes and antics of Sonic. There are plenty of references to the classic games about the super-fast hedgehog, including some iconic locations and characters (wait for the post-credits scene). Sonic himself turned out to be funny and damn cute – the time spent redesigning the character was well spent. And even though most of Sonic’s tricks echo the tricks of other super-fast characters, the same Flash and Quicksilver (the scene in the bar generally parodies the scene of Magneto’s escape from X-Men: Days of Future Past), they generally look good. As well as the battles between Eggman’s robots and the fugitives. I was especially pleased with the indestructible tank-moto-copter, which turned the main characters’ SUV into a convertible.
I absolutely do not regret the hour and a half that I devoted to watching Sonic the Hedgehog, in some ways it resembles the same Pixels, simple, but very touching. Even if you are not a fan of the games in the series, moreover, even if you have not played any of the Sonic games, the film will delight you. This is a 100% family movie that you can go to with children of any age.
Scenes at the end and after the credits hint at a possible sequel. Overall, Sega has enough games and characters to create its own cinematic universe, similar to Marvel’s. Another thing is that against the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic, which means almost zero box office receipts in China and Japan, a film with a budget of $95 million (and an undisclosed amount spent on redoing visual effects) has every chance of failing at the box office.
Sonic the Hedgehog is generally a good film adaptation of the popular game, but it is a weak and secondary film in all respects