Remember back in April when the live-action/CGI hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog debuted its first trailer? It obviously didn’t go well after the original Sonic’s design got heavily bashed for its hideous-looking humanoid appearance. The kind that gave us nightmares if Paramount chose to ignore the harsh criticism and went ahead with their initial November 2019 release date.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen since Paramount made the right choice of postponing the movie for a major overhaul on Sonic’s design. By November last year, the all-new trailer received an overwhelmingly positive response after many were satisfied with the new and more video game-accurate Sonic design.
The redesigned Sonic is spot-on while comedian and TV’s Parks and Recreation star Ben Schwartz brings enough goofy charm and manic energy voicing the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog character. Former X-Men star James Marsden, who plays the sheriff Tom Wachowski shares better-than-expected buddy-movie chemistry with the CG version of Sonic while supporting actors, namely Tika Sumpter delivers decent support in the otherwise underwhelming role as Tom’s wife, Maddie.
Then, there’s the long-missed Jim Carrey who finally made a major big-screen comeback since 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To. Never mind the fact he doesn’t resemble the chubby-looking Doctor Robotnik seen in the video game or even the animated series. Fortunately, he manages to make amends — well, most of them anyway — with his signature rubber-faced and over-the-top antics that we used to love him back in the 90s.
The jokes, as expected, is a hit-and-miss affair and some of them are either dated or trying too hard to elicit some laugh (the whole Carrey’s song-and-dance sequence comes in mind).
While Jeff Fowler — making his feature-length directorial debut — deserves some credits for capturing the essence of the Sonic video game, he hits a major setback when comes to the movie’s hackneyed storyline. The plot, which revolves around the fast-moving blue hedgehog Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) who unexpectedly team up with a small-town sheriff (James Marsden) to stop the mad genius Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey), tries hard to be both funny and sympathetic. The latter goes as far as addressing Sonic living a lonely life all the while — an uneven result that would completely derail the movie if not for the gamely playful cast and most of all, the redesigned Sonic.
Despite the flaws, Sonic the Hedgehog remains a decent family-friendly entertainment that would please most casual fans and audiences alike. At the very least, it didn’t turn out to be among the worst of its kind for an otherwise typically jinxed video-game movie. Do remember to stick around for the mid-credits scene.