FILM REVIEW - Sonic The Hedgehog
There have been quite many films on my to-watch list, but only a few of them have been sitting there for a long time. I had been debating on whether or not I wanted to continue with my MCU reviews or perhaps someone serious with my siblings and their cinema club. I finally decided that I’d watch the film I’ve been telling everyone that I was going to watch, for almost 4 months now: Sonic The Hedgehog!
‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ sees young anthropomorphic hedgehog, Sonic, flee his home planet to Earth so that he may escape forces attempting to capture his power. That power being, the ability to run at superhuman speeds. For many years, we see Sonic living his life in a town called Green Hills where he secretly follows the life of a human law enforcement officer, Tom Wachowski. However, one night in frustration at the fact that he must live undercover from the world, Sonic unleashes a pulse that wipes out the electricity in the entire vicinity. This naturally draws the attention of the US Government which send in someone they believe will be able to investigate this matter effectively. Enter eccentric scientist, Dr Robotnik, a man hellbent on telling everyone why and how he is smarter than them. Robotnik very quickly discovers that the source of this incident is a being from space and begins his hunt. Sonic realizing that his actions may lead him to being discovered attempts to use magical rings in his possession to escape to a new world. He decides to activate the ring in a safe place, which happens to be Tom’s garage and through an accident involving a tranquilliser gun, the two become acquainted and very quickly must band together to escape the clutches of Robotnik who is hot on their heels. Along the way, the two become friends and forge unforgettable memories and when they reach San Francisco where Sonic’s magical rings have ended up, the two must make a decision. Just what is Tom willing to risk to protect his new friend? And does Sonic choose Earth or protect his friends by leaving for a planet across the galaxy?
Before I say anything I have to mention that the Meticulous Marauder has an intense hatred for James Marsden because she thinks he’s in every film where there’s some sort of animated small animal. I noted that he had been in ‘Hop’ and ‘Enchanted’ where he interacts with animated creatures but said it wasn’t enough to be a pattern. When he got cast in ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ I had no choice but to agree with her. Now, I’ve never had anything against Marsden, but I have found that in all of these films, he essentially plays the same character. He’s likeable but almost useless to the overall plot in my opinion. Voicing our titular character Sonic was Ben Schwartz. As far as voicing young blue hedgehogs go, Schwartz does a decent job. As difficult as it is, he can convey different emotions through the character’s voice which does add to the film. There was one acting performance that stood above the rest, although not by much. That was the legendary Jim Carrey playing the role of Dr Robotnik. Carrey knows exactly how to play over-the-top characters and Robotnik was just another notch alongside Ace Ventura and The Mask. My only qualm with the performance is that it was more camp than sinister and I felt that he could have really created a version of Dr Robotnik that would been terrifying. Nonetheless, it was not a bad performance!
I’m sure that in the last few months I have reviewed a number of films based on video games and the vast majority of them have been highly disappointing. ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ for me was in the middle. On the surface, the film provides a couple of good laughs and a heartwarming story, which I suppose the target audience would have loved. The target audience being children. That being said, there remains little substance to the film. Now, this may be a controversial opinion but this is my website so I can say what I like. Films which adapt cartoons or video games don’t necessarily need to be set in our world. Much like my issues with the ‘Transformers’ film series, I feel that the enjoyment factor is bought down when you’re having to become invested in what the human characters are doing. Tom Wachowski, whilst a fun character to watch, should not be an integral part of a film about an anthropomorphic hedgehog that runs very fast. I’m here to see carefree and fun action, not the friendship between a man and video game character. With the reveal in the post-credit scene, I do wonder how the future of this series will pan out!
Now cinematography is a place where I can give the filmmakers some credit. When the first trailer was revealed people lost their minds at the admittedly awful design they had for Sonic, but the studio listened and when the second trailer came around, the graphics were much better and the character looked more like his video game counterpart. The graphics of the film were excellent in that respect and I have to give credit to the actors who most of the time would have been speaking to a green screen. The music on the other hand was almost non-existent and did not add to the film. Overall, this was an easy watch, but one that perhaps I expected more from. I can only hope that the sequel and incoming threequel is even better!