Gotta have a blast!

“Sonic the Hedgehog” provides gobs of entertainment from start to finish


Paramount Pictures

Dr. Ivo Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, chases Sonic the Hedgehog, voiced by Ben Schwartz. “Sonic the Hedgehog” released this past Valentine’s Day and became the highest grossing video game movie ever. The movie delivers a wealth of humor and action for all viewers.

When I first heard there was going to be a movie based on popular video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, I honestly thought it was going to be bad.

[M]aking a popular playable experience into a cinematic one is not necessarily an easy task.”

— Staff Writer Daniel Stackhouse

Video game movies have never worked due to one reason or another. It all seems to be because of the lack of care and passion for what made the source material so good. Then again, making a popular playable experience into a cinematic one is not necessarily an easy task.

With the release of the first trailer, the stereotypical carelessness of a big studio began to show when the first design of Sonic looked nothing like the original character. Paramount Pictures eventually backed down and delayed the movie from its initial November 2019 release to Valentine’s Day of 2020.

Let’s just say that the change worked for the film by making Sonic actually look like Sonic. According to Rotten Tomatoes, it has already been reported to have become the highest grossing video game movie ever in its first weekend. 

The plot follows Sonic the Hedgehog, voiced by Ben Schwartz, living in a town called Green Hills, Montana, named after the first level of the original “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Sonic lives alone in the outskirts of the city in an attempt to keep his power hidden.

As a child, Sonic was told by his caretaker, Longclaw, voiced by Donna Jay Fulks, to always keep running so nobody would take his powers. Longclaw sent Sonic to Earth through rings that in the game functioned as a sort of life, but in the movie they are used as a means of transportation. 

While his power is intriguing, there is no real explanation of what his power is and what he can do. It is implied that he has some sort of superspeed, but it is never really explained. Regardless, it serves well for the action scenes as well as comedic gags.

Carrey embraces the role of a cocky, machine-loving genius.”

— Staff Writer Daniel Stackhouse

After Sonic gets caught up in the lonely life he lives, he runs to let off some steam only to cause a power surge that knocks out power across the Pacific Northwest. This power outage promptly brings members of the Pentagon to investigate. They decide to leave this endeavor in the hands of genius machine maniac Dr. Ivo Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey.

Carrey embraces the role of a cocky, machine-loving genius. Many people have anticipated this movie simply to see Carrey in a zany role that parallels his performances from his early career. His performance as Dr. Robotnik does not disappoint. 

While Sonic attempts to escape to another world after realizing his powers have been found out, he is discovered by sheriff Tom Wachowski, James Marsden, who shoots a tranquilizer dart at Sonic causing him to accidentally lose his rings. After a scuffle with Robotnik, Tom ends up helping Sonic go to San Francisco and find his rings.

Schwartz captivates the original personality of Sonic. In his conception, Sonic was always intended to have a heft of attitude, primarily intended to rival Mario. Schwartz embodies Sonic’s personality in his performance save for a few corny lines here and there.

The rest of the cast did great as well. I thought that Carrey would be the one carrying the acting, but I wouldn’t say that anybody had a bad performance.

I feel as though taking the comedic route works for this movie because that means the movie is not taking itself seriously. Which is good, because there is no need to take a movie set in its own circumstances seriously.

Songs similar to the iconic music from the games is one thing I wished this movie added. ”

— Staff Writer Daniel Stackhouse

If there is any major flaw with the movie, it’s the fact that not taking itself seriously makes the movie not be any better. Some cringe-worthy moments also keep it from being better than it could have been. By and large, it is a family movie that was great at what it set out to do, and even a little extra.

Sure, there are some cliché scenes that plague any family movie that tie into the movie’s specific message. Throughout the movie, the message is simply to not run away from problems. Simple moral but the climax really pushes for the conditions to try and make the moral stick. As a result, the climax is as stereotypical as any family action adventure film.

Visually this movie looks great. On top of fixing Sonic’s design, all of the other CGI is done really well. Not to mention the movie is shot fairly well and no shot is distracting or out of place in any way.

Looking back, the soundtrack lacked any tunes from any of the previous sonic games, save for the opening theme for “Sonic Mania,” and a piano rendition of the Green Hill Zone theme. Instead the soundtrack is made of a general action orchestra. Songs similar to the iconic music from the games is one thing I wished this movie added. 

Despite this, “Sonic the Hedgehog” still has a lot to love. It beat the odds in making a video game movie a great experience. Definitely the best video game movie by a long shot. It was able to work alright off of the source material to make a good time for viewers of all ages.