Alvin and the Chipmunks. Woody Woodpecker. Smurfs. These movies all have one key thing in common, they are movies with talking cartoon characters, usually anthropomorphic in the real world paired with bland white dudes- lost and searching for their role in life. Sonic the Hedgehog manages to be this movie, and the antithesis of it at the same time. This is due to one key ingredient: Sonic is in on the joke.
credit: Paramount Pictures
Early in the first act, the movie references one of the internet’s most infamous memes, and it lands. There are so many moments like this in the movie, moments that just shouldn’t work, but because the movie adds actual jokes to these moments, and does not just say “silly thing– LAUGH!” it makes the movie legitimately funny, most of the time.
Like I said, this is ultimately a Chipmunks clone, and there are moments where the lowbrow humor is so low, it almost brings the whole scene down. The outcome of the movie is painfully obvious, because we have seen this type of movie a dozen times before. It also has some weird lore that is essential to the plot, but is also barely in existence. This sounds paradoxical, but this movie manages it. Despite this, Sonic never presumes to think it’s deeper than it is.
The movie has three main highlights. The first is Sonic the Hedgehog himself. While the performance is not what I would consider the upper echelons of CGI acting, the animators take full advantage of the fact that he is not just a cartoon, but that speed is his thing, and it leads to some great action and comedy. The relationship between Sonic and Tim (the Dave Seville of the movie) is actually a pretty solid friendship.
credit: Paramount Pictures
The second is Jim Carrey as Doctor Ivo Robotnik (Dr. Eggman). He owns every scene he’s in, and manages to be the most cartoony character in a movie about a blue cartoon Hedgehog. Everything the trailers promised with the character was an under representation of the pure Carrey energy that played out on screen.
The last, and least expected, highlight is the main character’s sister-in-law. She’s only in a few scenes, but may very well be the best character. She’s easily the best thing to come out of the relationships of the human characters.
Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog is nothing to write home about (despite that being what I’m doing right now), and at times it can embody the worst of the type of movie it is, but it’s a fun ride. It’s worth a watch if the opportunity presents itself, but unless you’re a Sonic fan I wouldn’t go out of your way.
About The Author:
Jake Mazzarella is a screenwriter and visual and media arts major at Emerson College.
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