Back when the initial trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog was released, fans weren’t especially happy with the “realistic” design of their favorite blue creature. The backlash caused the studio to get the VFX team working again to redesign him in just a few short months to look more like the video games from which he originates. The result? Not worth it, folks. The new design might look on the surface more like the games but its lack of detail and polish makes Sonic never feel like a part of our world. He looks like special effects. Garfield: The Movie had better and more “fitting” CGI back in 2004.
The story sees the titular alien/hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) sent to earth as a child to escape evil on his home planet. He finds himself in a small town and takes up residence in a nearby cave, absorbing out culture but avoiding any direct interaction. He spies on people and does things like reading Flash comic books. Because Sonic has the power of super speed and, in case you didn’t know that, the filmmakers really wanted to hammer it home.
One of the families he spies on is the one that contains Tom and Maddie (James Marsden and Tika Sumpter). He’s a cop who is on the verge of leaving his small town to go to San Francisco, and she’s a veterinarian who is also in the movie. After events that I really don’t care to describe, Sonic and Tom have to drive to San Francisco to acquire magical MacGuffins, all while being chased by government employee Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who likes robots more than people and is evil because the movie needs a villain.
The entire plot could be solved by giving Sonic a map or a smartphone, so to kill time on this unnecessary road trip movie our protagonists make pit stops that only irritate us and alienate us from the characters we’re supposed to be growing to like, as well as random action scenes where Robotnik miraculously finds them and sends his robots at them. Sonic’s powers are inconsistently utilized, too, in case you were hoping anyone paid any attention to detail. Additionally, the movie contains approximately one minute of screen time dedicated to advertising Olive Garden, so I guess you can now all get off the back of the Power Rangers reboot.
Sonic spends most of his screen time dropping pop culture references or whining. Tom is as bland a human as has ever existed. Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik is so over-the-top that one has to wonder if the filmmakers just told Jim Carrey to do whatever he wanted to liven up the experience. It’s a cringeworthy substitute for character depth and personality. There’s no reason given to care about anyone or anything in this sad excuse for a movie beyond “Hey, remember that character from the game? Well now a lookalike is on the screen. Care!”
While it won’t go down as one of the worst video game adaptations thanks to all Uwe Boll did for that industry, Sonic the Hedgehog is nonetheless an utter waste of time and resources. It lacks any reason for us to care about its story or characters, wastes an incredible amount of time because its plot could be concluded in 15 minutes, drops more pop culture references than most comedies nowadays, and doesn’t contain a single thrill, laugh, or emotional moment in its entire running time. It’s almost impossibly boring. Take the basic E.T. formula, strip out everything that made it good, and replace it with sugar cereal that won’t stop talking even after you’ve thrown it in the trash. That’s Sonic the Hedgehog.
Conclusion: The Sonic video game franchise has had some bad moments and this might be the worst one yet.
Recommendation: The only reason to see Sonic the Hedgehog is if a director’s cut is released with the character’s original design. At least that’ll be funny/horrific enough to be worth watching.
- Rating - 2/102/10