Gotta Go Fast! A “Sonic the Hedgehog” Review

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One thing that isn’t very known about me is that I absolutely love the Sonic the Hedgehog series. I grew up with Nintendo in my house. While Mario games have a special place in my heart, the Blue Blur has always been another character that really defined my childhood. I started out with Sonic Adventure DX on my Game Cube, and played the Sonic games on and off throughout my life. The most recent release that I own, Sonic Mania, is one of my favorite games of 2017.

When I heard that they were making a movie about Sonic, I was nervous. If Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros. taught us anything, it’s that movie adaptations of video games are campy and cheesy at best, and really, really awful at worst. I didn’t see Detective Pikachu when it came out (mostly because I didn’t have the time, but also because I was just as nervous for it), but once my friends saw it and told me it was pretty good, I wondered if that video game movie curse was finally broken. Sonic the Hedgehog, in my opinion, proves that you can create a phenomenal adaptation of a video game classic, if you have the right team to do so.

Before the original release, Sonic fans were terrified that the design of Sonic was proof that the movie was going to be garbage. In response, Paramount Pictures decided to delay the release from November 2019 to February 2020 in order to rework the hedgehog’s design. Once the new design was released to the public, I and many other fans were relieved and excited that he looked like the hedgehog we all know and love.

Some people think that the OG design was bad on purpose, and I’m sure there are plenty of articles online “proving” that “fact”. Personally, I think that Paramount genuinely thought that his old, creepy design was good, and the backlash that they received inspired them to actually listen to what the fans wanted for this movie. The design team in particular deserves all the praise in the world because they really worked overtime to make this movie what it is. I think they did a phenomenal job!

Matt and I went and saw it on the release day, February 14th. I had been so excited since that release of the new design, and basically forced my husband to see it with me on Valentine’s Day. The theater was almost sold out (RIP those three empty seats), and in those seats were Sonic fans around my age, little kids and their uneasy parents, and couples like Matt and I, hopeful that they weren’t wasting their Valentine’s Day with this movie.

I’m going to try and avoid spoilers from here on out, because I really want to convince you to see this movie. In my humble opinion, Sonic the Hedgehog has changed the video-game-to-movie adaptation game for the better. From the beginning, I had a smile on my face. That smile didn’t leave until the credits were done. I genuinely enjoyed every second of this movie!

The set up of the universe was simple enough to understand from the beginning (which I expected from what is technically a children’s film): Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his super speed powers have to be protected and hidden at all costs. If he is discovered, he will be in trouble. Simple enough! He ends up in a lovely little town called Green Hills (a nice reference to the first Sonic stage ever, Green Hill Zone) and he meets Tom (played by James Marsden), Tom’s family, and eventually Dr. Robotnik (played by Jim Carrey). Dr. Robotnik is obviously interested in Sonic, and wants his power for himself.

I liked how they introduced Dr. Robotnik in the movie because it didn’t feel too forced. I wanted to be skeptical about him being involved with the U.S. government, but the way they wrote him into the story makes it a little more believable than I initially thought it was going to be. Plus, Jim Carrey’s performance was his best comedic performance since Bruce Almighty. I’m a big fan of the movies I’ve seen Carrey in, and I genuinely think this role has given a breath of fresh air to his career.

Ben Schwartz’s performance could not have been better. His voice is the perfect voice for Sonic (sorry, Jaleel White), and I could tell he was having the time of his life in that vocal booth. It’s a big deal for Schwartz to be involved in this huge of a movie, because before I found out he was playing the titular character, I only knew him as that funny guy from Parks and Rec. I have a feeling that if one had never seen that show, they would have no idea who Ben Schwartz was unless they came across him on the Internet (which is basically what happened to me). After seeing this movie, I’m officially a fan of his. I can’t explain how perfect he was for the role…you’ll just have to go see for yourself!

The supporting characters (Marsden’s Tom, his wife Maddie, and her sister and her daughter) added a layer to the movie that I really liked. When I heard that Marsden was going to be in the movie, I straight up rolled my eyes. He’s based half his career on kid’s movies where the main character(s) are 3D animals. After seeing the movie, however, I realized that there’s a reason he’s been in so many of that particular genre of movie. His performance as Sonic’s accidental partner in crime was very cute and fun. Maddie (played by Tika Sumpter) was very funny and kept up with Marsden very well. I also enjoyed the fact that they were an interracial couple! Seeing Marsden and Sumpter love each other on the big screen made me feel good (Matt and I are also an interracial couple, and it’s wonderful to see positive couples like us onscreen).

I enjoyed the simplicity of the plot. Knowing that it is a children’s film doesn’t give it a free pass, and I watched it knowing that I was going to critique it just as much as any other film. That being said, ya girl was delighted the entire time. I don’t think there was one part of the movie that had me wondering why they were taking the writing this way or that way. Everything in the movie happened naturally. The writing team did a phenomenal job.

If you’re wondering if you should go see Sonic the Hedgehog, wonder no more. I highly, highly suggest this movie if you love the Sonic series. They do our boy justice. I also highly suggest it if you’re a fan of anyone in the cast, especially Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz. If you have kids, it’s a great film for them as well as you because there are plenty of “for the parents” jokes. If you’re just looking for a good movie to see on a weeknight, go ahead and see it after work. It’s only an hour and forty minutes long, but every second of the movie is chock full of excitement, energy, and fun.

I could honestly go on and on about this movie, I enjoyed it so much. I think the last time I genuinely enjoyed a movie at this level was the first Avengers film way back in 2012. I’m happy for the entire cast and crew for setting a new record for video game movies over their opening weekend, and I can’t wait to see how much it makes once their theater run is done. I’m honestly so excited for whatever Paramount Pictures has in store for the Blue Blur next, because I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Sonic’s story just yet!

Thanks for reading my review of Sonic the Hedgehog! If you have seen the movie already, tell me your favorite part! If you haven’t seen it, I’m hoping my review will inspire you to do so. Follow me on Twitter for updates on my blog, as well as daily Mary goofs and gaffs. I’ll see you guys next week!

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I write about music, movies, life, and Other Generic Things.

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