Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Review
Updated: May 5
Let's be honest, you already knew how this movie was going to turn out.
Sonic the Hedgehog was directed by Jeff Fowler and stars Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, and Jim Carrey. The basic premise is that in a fit of rage, Sonic causes a power outage, which makes the government call on "Dr. Robotnik" to investigate. Sonic tries to escape Earth but loses his rings.
In all my years, I have not once fallen asleep during a movie out of pure boredom. That is of course, until tonight. I missed around 20 minutes of the second act, but I saw enough of it to give my 2 cents. The only word that I can possibly use to describe this sad excuse of a film is "pointless." There is nothing beyond what is being shown on the screen. It follows the traditional PG-rated coming-of-age formula to a tee, and while that's usually acceptable for a movie like this, it's not like Sonic is a well-executed version of that formula. There are lazy, dull pop culture references ranging from Sanic to Fortnite being hurled down your throat every 30 seconds that make you want to claw out your eyes with a fork. How this script got green-lit by Paramount is absolutely beyond me, and the only explanation I can muster up is that it was a sleazy cash grab as a last-ditch effort to use the IP.
With a 95 million dollar budget, you would expect the effects to be better than The CW's Flash show, but it's quite the opposite. While some scenes (particularly the first) are polished and find a way to legitimately grab your attention with dynamic chase scenes at super speed, others are so blatantly CGI’d that it makes you stop and think how it made it into the final cut. The worst offender is Sonic himself. When placed next to real people and objects, completely CG characters stand out like a sore thumb, with the obvious exception of Thanos, who was perfectly executed. For example, in the first 10 minutes of the movie, Sonic carries a turtle while running. If you were to tell me that it was a turtle sitting on a cardboard cutout with a trashy motion-blur green screen effect behind it, I wouldn't bat an eye. Unfortunately, the complete redesign of the character did nothing to save the other glaring VFX issues.
I must concede, there are redeeming qualities to Sonic. Jim Carrey does a fantastic job as Dr. Robotnik, channeling his glory days on SNL. The role feels like it was created for him to play, and he is the only character in the movie that has unironically funny jokes, largely in part to his masterful comedic timing. Sadly, even his excellent performance has a caveat. Robotnik's arc was so poorly written that it significantly detracts from whatever interest you have in his jokes. He is without a doubt the most generic, (literally) mustache-twirling villain imaginable, and strong humor can't save a completely one-dimensional character, no matter how witty it is. The only other strength that this movie has is the post-credit scene, which against my better judgment, intrigues me as to where they can go next. The best possible groundwork is laid for a sequel, but to be honest, I'm not sure if even a good next installment could redeem what this dumpster fire of a film forced me to witness. At least Cats seemed like it was trying.