Some things are meant to be left in the past. “Sonic the Hedgehog,” like many other Hollywood movie remakes, is one of these things.
“Sonic the Hedgehog,” directed by Jeff Fowler arrives as the latest addition in the videogame-to-screen frenzy. It’s best known amongst social media users as the film that maimed childhood memories of SEGA’s sassy blue alien hedgehog by creating what seemed to be a drug abusing sewer creature. Critical (and well-deserved) internet reactions to the trailer delayed the film by four months to reanimate Sonic into a cartoon character and out of children’s bad dreams.
But no abuse of underpaid animators could fix the stale purgatory that is “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Every bad children’s movie plot device was thrown into this film. Main characters that should be in gym ads, corny references to pop culture, friendship-solves-everything tropes and of course, a bad guy with no reason to be bad.
Here’s the story: after fleeing his native planet of Green Hills, Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, lives a solitary life in Montana. He spies on the friendly neighborhood cop, played by James Marsden and lives in what could be a 12-year-old boy’s room, but under the dirt. One day, Sonic’s anger gets the best of him and he knocks out the power grid after playing the world’s saddest and fastest game of single-player baseball. The government quickly deems that Dr. Robotnik is the only person smart enough to chase down this mysterious alien and the rest is history.
If there’s one thing I took away from this film, it’s that Sonic badly needs a therapist. The entire plot stems from Sonic’s pent up fear and anger because of his loneliness. Scriptwriters, I’m sorry to report that an entire childhood of being alone cannot be bandaid-fixed by one random white guy, who is honestly quite mean to Sonic for half of the movie.
Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, was only given the personality traits of evil genius, terrible boss and hedgehog-hater by the writers; yet, his performance carried the movie. Carrey is eccentric and more animated than the actual animated character. I’d love to see a film just on his evil uprising; make it “Joker,” but for kids.
I can’t help but compare almost every aspect of “Sonic the Hedgehog” to “Detective Pikachu.” “Detective Pikachu” immersed its audience into the Pokémon universe with fantastically animated, lovable characters. The crew relayed their passion for the franchise to viewers through a well-written plot that was simple and fun for younger fans, while still pleasing a protective older audience who arrived at the cinema with a critical eye.
“Detective Pikachu” made me fall in love with the Pokémon universe all over again. For almost two hours, I forgot I was in a grimy chain-theater chair. Sonic had me firmly in my seat only because I paid 11 dollars to see it.
Save your money. Instead of taking your child or sibling to laugh maybe four times during a roughly hour-and-a-half movie, download an emulator and let them play the old Sonic games instead. Trust me, they’ll be way more entertained