Sonic the Hedgehog Runs Before Stretching

If you’ve ever wanted to see a scene where a talking hedgehog praises Keanu Reeves, this is the film for you.  

Sonic the Hedgehog was released on February 14, 2020, and was directed by Jeff Fowler. The film stars Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, and Jim Carrey. After being in hiding for years, the fastest hedgehog in the world is discovered, and must team up with small-town police officer Tom in order to stop Dr. Robotnik from getting his powers.

Ben Schwartz brings the blue blur to life as Sonic. The dialogue he’s given to read is nothing more than fine, Schwartz’s voice work is good though. James Marsden as Tom is not given much to work with, but he’s fine. Tom’s character choices make sense. Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik is pretty over the top. Many questions are posed while watching Carrey, for example, “Why?” But for most of the film, Carrey’s performance works. 

The script takes Sonic’s advice and “goes fast,” as it’s extremely fast-paced. The first act is filled with tons of rushed exposition because of this. When the script does slow down it’s for pointless moments such as seeing Dr. Robotnik dance for a few minutes, instead of adding to character’s or the story. 

An ongoing joke in the film is the fact that Sonic talks a lot, but this does nothing more than make Sonic very unlikeable. Many actions by Sonic add to this unlikability as well, for example how he consistently makes stupid decisions that detract from what he’s trying to do in the film. Another element of Sonic’s character is that he makes film references. It doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the film, it was just weird. 

The film never explains exactly how Sonic’s powers work. Due to this, the film can do whatever its wants with him, for example having Sonic not run fast for no reason, and get knocked out and then waking up again for no reason. This takes away from any tension that could have been in place of this confusion. 

There is a lot of product placement in Sonic. For example, a car chase in the film is written entirely around the Toyota Tacoma, and was clearly added for nothing more than they had to write it to get financing from Toyota. There are two times in the film where they rip off the Quicksilver action scenes from X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse in which he runs extremely fast and slows down time around him. 

Several moments in the film happen for no reason other than the script says so. The script is filled with clichés as well. Some moments don’t make sense, for example the United States government thanks Tom at the end of the film with a gift card. This ties back to a joke earlier in the film, but felt very out of place, especially since for most of the film Tom is deemed a terrorist by the news. 

Sonic struggles to balance unnecessary fan service, and having fan service that holds value to the plot. Although this only matters if you’re a fan of the video game franchise, you can watch it perfectly without knowing any source material. 

The directing is fine. There’s a very cool close up shot in which we see Sonic’s silhouette reflected within Dr. Robotnik’s goggles. Sonic’s CGI is fantastic, it paid off to go back and change the design after the fan outrage. The action is entertaining, and is fun to watch. 

There was a part where the film just forgets the 180 degree line rule exists. There is a continuity error in the third act where it turns from day to night abruptly. 

Sonic The Hedgehog does have heart, but the script keeps it from being anything more than mediocre. The action is fun but many times holds little value to the plot. This is really good compared to other video game films. 

[My grade for Sonic the Hedgehog is a C]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s