New Sonic the Hedgehog film speeds past fans’ expectations

Farah Javed, Managing Editor

It follows the story of how the blue speedster, Sonic, must escape from the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik with help from police officer Tom Wachowski.

This is different from the storyline of the video games, in which Sonic is usually racing to stop Dr. Robotnik — also known as Dr. Eggman — from stealing the Chaos Emeralds and using them to create doomsday devices that turn everyone into robots.

At the same time, director Jeff Fowler does a good job of bringing the iconic character to life.

Firstly, Sonic’s character design vastly improved. Originally, the movie was set to be released in 2019, but the trailer brought major backlash, and rightfully so.

The iconic blue hedgehog looked like something from a nightmare, and unlike anything from the comic books, TV shows or video games.

On top of that, actor Ben Schwartz, who is known for his work in shows like “Parks & Recreation,” does a fairly decent job as the voice of Sonic.

Throughout the movie, there are nods to the source material as well, like the city being named Green Hill, his phrase “gotta go fast” which is a reference from the TV adaption’s theme song and during his race against Dr. Egghead.

He is seen running very quickly to generate a tornado — a move fans will recognize from many of the past games, including Sonic Heroes.

In terms of the actual acting, the film was, for the majority of the runtime, lackluster.

As Sonic’s only friend, James Marsden was the average kind-hearted officer with nothing particularly interesting or funny in his acting.

His most interesting storyline was when he is categorized as a domestic terrorist for assisting Sonic in escaping the doctor, but then this plotline is forgotten for the majority of the movie.

He is essentially there to have sweet moments with Sonic.

Jim Carrey’s return to the silver screen, however, was right on par with the iconic Carrey of the ’90s, making him the best part of the movie.

Bringing his eccentricity from roles like The Mask, Ace Ventura and the Riddler, Carey convincingly plays a mad scientist.

Though the movie is rated PG as a children’s movie, he delivers some intense lines while still being funny like, “Confidence: a fool’s substitute for confidence.”

Again, most might find his performance to be over the top, but fans will find he is completely in line with the crazy Dr. Egghead of Sega.

Although the characters themselves are relatively okay with no major pitfalls, the plot itself has some issues.

First off, though the audience is introduced to a cute baby Sonic, the part about him being raised by an owl who happens to have magical rings is not explained at all.

Considering this is a movie mostly intended for children, it is possible that an explanation was deemed unnecessary.

Next, Sonic is a character known for his speed, yet he has more scenes sitting in Officer Wachowski’s car than actually running.

In fact, Sonic appears to read more about speed than actually run, as he avidly reads comic books on the DC hero, The Flash.

The biggest criticism, however, was the continuous brand placement.

It seems nonsensical to continuously mention Zillow or Olive Garden, which presumably sponsored the film.

The worst instance of this was at the end of the movie, where Officer Wachowski is declared to no longer be a terrorist, and is given a $50 gift card to compensate for potentially ruining his career as a cop.

Overall, Sonic The Hedgehog is nowhere near worthy of an Oscar, but it brings a wave of nostalgia for older audiences, and is entertainment for younger ones.

It set out to depict the story of Sonic, how he came to earth and how he managed to cross off the last item on his bucket list: to make a friend.

The end credit scene paves the way for a potential sequel, with Dr. Egghead officially bald and stuck on a mushroom planet and the familiar two-tailed yellow fox, Tails, peering out over the rolling green hills.

Heartwarming with moments of action and humor, this is a worthwhile family movie.