It’s been a long road of wondering just how a Sonic the Hedgehog movie would play out, and just what the focus of such a movie would be. As the years went on, we got some news and a trailer showing… the thing. But since the backlash and redesign, things have been feeling pretty positive for it.
Sure, it was probably never going to be a massive standout in terms of plot. Never breaking any ground or giving unexpected twists. But what is here is a joy to watch and gives plenty of action and laughs for an audience to experience. Even non-fans of Sonic can find things to enjoy about it.
As is the standard for bringing a character into the movie world through CGI, the plot of this one focuses on an origin story. That being the enmity between the titular hedgehog and Doctor Robotnik.
The personalities of the two seem similar yet different enough, so while this is its own universe, it does feel as though the two have been built from their main universe counterparts.
Sonic within this universe has the reason for his abilities changed slightly, with his speed coming from the unlimited energy his quills possess that are charged through his emotions. This is the main hook of the story, being the reason he comes to Earth in the first place as well as the reason Robotnik is drawn to wanting to capture him.
Despite not being anything groundbreaking in terms of plot, the emotion within the scenes is still done right. The first emotional scene seems a tad rushed, but it is the crux of Sonic’s emotional state through most of the rest of the movie.
Only in the climax does his stance of run and hide change, bringing out the hero he’ll soon become (though still with the boundless energy fully in place).
Robotnik is cool and calculated, being quite eccentric but not yet manic. Having never being wrong or lost a battle, it is the actions of Sonic and the unpredictableness he brings that forces Robotnik’s manic side as he gains a thirst for winning against this unbeatable foe.
Jim Carrey worked his magic in making this version of Robotnik work, just as Ben Schwartz does for Sonic.
The other main character of Tom Wachowski fits the bill just fine. He’s a cop who dreams of going big within his job, feeling that his time within the small town of Green Hills is done. The main reason for his existence is as a friend and partner to Sonic, and that role is something James Marsden plays well.
The coming together of Tom and Sonic is believable through the actions that happen, as is the start of the battle that runs through most of the movie. From that point on, there’s plenty of action and character interaction that present a lot of fun.
The emotional stakes are interspersed within all this whimsical action, and mostly works. Several points do fall flat, but nothing that seriously affects the overall quality of the movie.
Sonic moves fluidly and is full of life, so I have to give the animators credit for that. The music adds to the experience, with some references in both music and other areas that Sonic fans are sure to enjoy if they spot them.
Overall, this is worth a watch. As already said, even if it isn’t groundbreaking, it is still a competently made movie with action and character. Sure, it rushes through some things, but everything it sets out to achieve is still able to be recognised and understood.
Sonic the Hedgehog's first foray into the movie world has gone successfully, and I hope a sequel can continue to offer more within it.