Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Review
Being labeled the Best Video Game Adaptation of All Time doesn’t mean a lot when your only real competition is… well, 2018’s Tomb Raider remake. Even still, to be regarded as a not only tolerable but actually enjoyable piece of entertainment is an accomplishment given that movies based on video games, up until 2018, have largely and literally contributed to the degradation of society.
Sonic the Hedgehog, which makes its premium digital debut today (i.e. $20 for a two-day rental) following a highly successful but abbreviated, coronavirus-induced run in theaters, is an energetic, feel-good experience that follows a pretty safe formula but manages to not only not suck but be a pretty decent kids’ movie from the onset.
I only played the video game once or twice back in the day--I was beholden to my original, glitchy Nintendo and then computer games--but Sonic seems to not veer too far away from its origins, delivering at least all of the Hedgehog basics I’m aware of (mainly running super fast, and not having teeth).
At an hour-forty, director Jeff Fowler tells a tight story with some laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of the standard cute antics you’d expect for a lightweight live-action/CGI hybrid. There’s nothing groundbreaking about the film, but some inspired casting--Ben Schwartz does great voicing Sonic, James Marsden is a solid human companion, and Jim Carrey gives his most Jim Carrey-performance in years as the villain Dr. Robotnik--and a dedication to hitting the right comedic and action notes elevate the material.
Further, the movie held my 1.5-year-old child’s attention for nearly 30 minutes, an impressive accomplishment. It’s hard not to see older kids being enthralled by it, and adults who grew up playing the game nearly as impressed.
Whether it’s Tomb Raider or Sonic the Hedgehog or some other film, the Best Video Game Adaptation of All Time label doesn’t really matter. What does matter: Sonic is a fun, entertaining kids’ movie that packs a speed-induced punch.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.