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Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)


Video game movies are often bad, yet somehow, they keep getting made. The first trailer for Sonic drew so much criticism that all the CGI was redone to change Sonic’s appearance to better resemble the video game version of him. It was the right call and now we have a better-looking Sonic voiced by Ben Schwartz.

The film quickly explains why Sonic is on earth and not his home ring planet. It also explains what the rings from the game are used for. It is a perfect amount of explanation to let the story move on. Sonic is joined by Tom, James Marsden, on his journey to retrieve his rings. On the way, they must avoid Dr. Robotnik, Jim Carrey. Dr. Robotnik is a villain in the Sonic universe of games. As you would expect from Jim Carrey, the character is over the top. He is the smartest person in the universe and lets everyone know that at every chance. Tom’s wife Maddie, Tika Sumpter, is barely in the movie, but, notably, she is black. It is a small thing, but it is nice to see interracial couples in film.

Superfast slow-motion is used throughout the film effectively. As Sonic is moving supersonically, we get the usual gags in the middle of a bar fight of changing what everyone is doing. It is fun and what you would expect the director to do. Tom is trying to leave his small hometown for something bigger and better and it takes Sonic to show just how wonderful their small town is. Sometimes it takes a set of outside eyes for you to appreciate what you already have.

I went into Sonic with low expectations, and they were exceeded. The film balanced exposition and action well. The origin story was perfectly timed. The underlying message was clear and concise and well backed up by the film. Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotonik was a return to 1990s glory for the comedian. All the pieces of this film fit together well and left a smile on my face after seeing it.

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