“Sonic the Hedgehog” is simply mediocre
Historically, video game movies have been disappointing. Movies like Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li have been criticized for their lack of originality in the plot and storytelling and little to no faithfulness to the source material. There are a couple of good ones here and there, like Detective Pikachu. After a very unsettling design was shown to the world, then “fixed,” causing a delay of a few months, Sonic the Hedgehog has finally arrived, revealing itself to be what most people thought it would be: a continuation of the pattern of mediocre video game adaptation films.
The distance between pixels and reality
For starters, some of the general aspects of this film are not very related to the “Sonic” games: Sonic is an alien hedgehog of sorts who travels across planets to escape echidnas trying to hunt him down, using his trademark golden rings to open portals across the universe; he just happens to come across Earth as he settles in Green Hills, Montana, spying on the citizens’ day to day activities. The Chaos Emeralds are nowhere to be seen, Robotnik is a mad scientist who the government has worked with and Sonic is a shy loner, when usually he would be quite thrill-seeking. Is this an alternate universe?
Clichés and a senseless plot
The movie’s plot is filled with unoriginality and finicky logic. After causing a nation-wide power outage, Sonic is caught hiding and shot with a tranquilizer gun by Tom Wachowski, the local sheriff, which causes him to drop his rings into the top of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Why couldn’t a creature faster than the speed of light dodge a single tranquilizer? And why would it impair his ability to run fast? The only thing letting him go to San Francisco is the fact that Tom is going there with his car, anyway, as he has been selected to work for the San Francisco police. We’re meant to care about Tom, but the movie barely succeeds at leading us to that point.
When it comes to originality, the film falls flat on itself. It has most of the clichés you would expect of an action-comedy film: the movie starts with an action scene, a frame-freeze, the hero’s narration, a rewind to the start of the story, a death that is undone and the obligatory theme of friendship. It’s a ballpark of clichés! One could say that it held true to the audience’s expectations that it would be bad in one way or another, as these types of films have proven to be for the most part.
Closing the blue curtain
Indeed, the film is overall infested with bad things (have the two scenes where Sonic does the floss been mentioned yet?), but there is a fair share of redemption. The action scenes have great choreography and are pleasing to watch as the blue blur leaves traces of electric speed around the screen. Sonic’s desire for adventure gets him and others into trouble, which is an accurate depiction of his character. There’s a couple of scenes where Sonic goes so fast that time seems to slow down, allowing his sassy character and recklessness to flow through. There’s also a scene where Robotnik – or really just Jim Carrey embodying himself into Robotnik – is dancing and absolutely jamming as he analyzes one of Sonic’s alien quills. Give this movie a shot if you want; it’s definitely mediocre, but it could have been worse, and with a sequel confirmed, perhaps we’ll get more of what we desired soon.