“Sonic the Hedgehog” is a movie based on a video game of the same name. Just ask ‘Laura Croft: Tomb Raider’ how that usually works. (In a word – badly.) But lo-and-behold, the Sega Video Game people got all the correct creative types in a room and came up with – wait for it – a pretty darn good movie. It is attractive for kids who have played the game, and does not offend the parents of those same kids. Perhaps for more than a few of those parents, they also grew up playing Sonic. Then this could be a breath of nostalgic air. It is like getting the joy back into the joystick…
Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is little blue alien hedgehog that loves to run at super-speed. He has come to Earth to escape some bad guys and he has found a safe space outside of Green Hills, Montana. Sonic is so fast that nobody can see him, but he gets to spy on some of the humans in the town. Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) saves ducks and turtles from speeding cars every day. His wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) is a vet in town. Tom used to be part of the San Francisco PD, and he now wants his job back. He gets a call, and he will be going back soon. Sonic hangs out by their window every night and imagines he is part of the family. Sonic is so distressed when he hears that Tom and Maddie are going to leave – that he causes an inadvertent Power Outage in the Northeast.
The Military get involved and they call up a brilliant (but mostly deranged) genius scientist. Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) has a gigantic I.Q. — but that goes along with an even bigger ego. He does not work well with people, but it he is master of computerized drones and such. Robotnik, who has a wild ‘Snidely Whiplash’ type mustache, finds Tom and threatens to bring him in and torture — I mean — inquire with Tom about his new little Hedgehog friend. After all — that limitless power source that is “Sonic the Hedgehog” can be harnessed into the Good Doctor’s plans for TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION — I mean — used to provide pure, clean energy for the wonderful folks on Earth, to give light and goodness to the world and fill their hearts with rainbows and unicorns…
Tom takes Sonic with him and hits the road, because they need to get to San Francisco. Dr. Robotnic is hot on their trail. Rootnic has a souped-up semi-trailer full of drones and equipment, and he ready to chase Sonic to the ends of the Earth. Tom and Sonic stop for a while, but Sonic get sidetracked into going to a local bar. This causes a pretty big uproar when Sonic uses his super-speed get himself and Tom out of a big bar fight. It winds up being a mess for everyone, but Sonic is able to check another thing off of his bucket list. Now – if he can only do the final item “Make a Best Friend”. Maybe Tom might know something about that, huh?
Dr. Robotnic is tracking them closer and closer, but Tom and Sonic are able to get way. When in San Francisco, Sonic is able to locate magic golden rings – and Robitnic is able to locate them. There is a massive fight between them and they wind up, somehow, back into Green Hills. Robotnic has Sonic trapped, and Tom is helpless to save him. But will Sonic recharge his internal power grid to face off against the brilliant (but mostly deranged) crazy scientist? Will Robotnic use his evil I.Q. to bring down the little blue Hedgehog? Will Sonic be down for the count, or did he score himself an ‘extra life’?
“Sonic the Hedgehog” does a very good job at keeping the tone light and humor level at a fun setting. It is silly romp, and everyone in the movie understands that. James Marsden plays straight man to a CGI created blue Hedgehog, and he is OK with that. Ben Schwartz gets the ‘Sonic’ character voice just right, and his lines are usually very funny. But is the comic mastery of Jim Carrey that really carries the movie. His quirky rubbery-faced villain is the perfect foil for Sonic the Hedgehog. He has been better in his older movies, but here he shows that he is getting back into shape.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” gets the super-speedy little guy from the video game and gives him a fun way to play on the big screen. Have your quarters ready…
Sonic the Hedgehog
Directed by: Jeff Fowler
Written by: Pat Casey, Josh Miller
Based on: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (by Sega)
Starring: James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Jim Carrey
Length: 99 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG for action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild language.
Genre: Video Game Movie