The blue and the furious
Growing up, I was into video games big time. I did all of my gaming on Nintendo consoles so I didn't know about any other characters outside of Mario or Zelda. One of my cousins had actually gotten a Sega Genesis console for Christmas and couldn't stop talking about a particular game he immediately fell in love with; that game ended up being Sonic the Hedgehog 2. On a visit to his house, I finally had a chance to play the blue blur's game and was overjoyed running around and doing loops at crazy speeds. From there on I became a fan of Sonic overnight despite not owning any of Sega's consoles. Going into this live-adaptation film, I had my reserved thoughts on it given how video game adaptations tend to fare on the lower end of positive reception. What made me anxious more than anything was how a Sonic movie could work since there's not much of a plot to work with. To my surprise, the filmmakers found a way to make it work....well, some of it at least. For the most part of his life, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has lived on Earth after being forced to abandon his homeworld. Living in hiding on the outskirts of small town in Montana, Sonic crosses paths with the town's local cop Tom (James Marsden) after getting the unwanted attention of the U.S government and their evil maniacal scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Now under the gun, the two go on the run while trying to keep the mad doctor from obtaining Sonic's ability to weaponize
his drones. It would be impossible to review this film without mentioning the troubled history of its' production, starting with the now infamous first trailer that dropped last year featuring the contentious design that pissed off fans everywhere. Paramount did a huge 180 and actually took the fans' feedback to heart, and I'm happy to say the results have paid off in the best way conceivable. Sonic's revised design feels not only more akin to his early 90s image, but his cocky and youthful personality meshes well with it too. Marsden and the supporting cast bring some vibrancy to their characters with some nice and meaty development, just enough to not make them feel two-dimensional. The real scene stealer standing toe to toe with the little hedgehog is Jim Carrey himself who taps into his manic
comedic chops which we've not seen since his Ace Ventura era of comedy work. The man relishes in his role but more than that he seems to be enjoying himself as well too, unfolding naturally into the part. While Carrey does his job well, the other comedic aspects are a bit hit or miss. Some jokes are genuinely funny while a few fall a bit short but the film's humor is consistently funny all the way. Aside from that, the film has some very spot on themes of social isolation and self-worth, two topics you wouldn't expect from a video game film especially one involving a blue hedgehog that runs really fast and can teleport between places using gold rings. Your level of enjoyment as well as your understanding of the film is solely based on how familiar you are with Sega's main mascot, and also if you have kids because it's clear that the film is targeted to a very young audience. That being said, as an adult with zero kids but with some cognizance of the franchise I still had a good time with the film, even tapping into some nostalgic memories of old. The film may not be perfect but I can express with an alleviating sigh of relief that Paramount truly went above and beyond for both the film and fans to deliver an energetic and entertaining adaptation. Sonic The Hedgehog gets a solid recommendation.