So, I saw the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie last week. I’d heard good things about this movie but went in with a clear mind, hoping to draw my own conclusions and ideas about the film. And you know what, I was surprised, this movie was better than anything I could have hoped!
QUICK NOTE: I wanna apologize for my absence, recently I’ve been swamped with work and not been able to do writing much. But hopefully I can resume semi-regular uploads soon.
This was the part of the movie that surprised me the most in terms of quality. The story itself is very by the numbers. An unlikely duo consisting of the every-man and a fish out of water character go on a road trip escaping some evil force, while learning a moral lesson about friendship and all that jazz. But while that is presented in a well crafted, it’s a baseline story that is easy for kids to understand. However, the emotional story of this movie is absolutely on point, much more than I think anyone expected. Sonic’s emotional struggle and deep seeded loneliness is actually quite powerful, and something that I never expected to work with his character. The scene of him playing Baseball by himself only to realize he’s truly alone in this world was incredibly powerful, dare I say it chocked me up a bit. I also liked the jokes, granted many of them were kinda dated and just quippy Deadpool style humor, but the delivery and acting performances sold the humor very well. So overall, the emotional beats of this otherwise basic story elevates it above other typical road trip movies.
- Sonic: The man himself…or rather Hedgehog himself. Sonic is infamous in this movie for having to be given a redesign following atrocious backlash for his original design. As for the character itself, Sonic is great in this movie. It’s very reminiscent of the Sonic from the games, cracking jokes and obsessed with speed and all that fun stuff. But Sonic has a new dimension to him in this film, one where we see his internal struggles and fear of loneliness, as well as his desire for a friend. People have said he acts a bit too much like Deadpool in this movie, but considering he’s spent 10 years alone on Earth I can understand his weak grasp on normality having slipped a little. Sonic gets a solid 8/10 as a character.
- Tom Wachowski: Not much to say about Tom really. He’s just the standard every-man character Sonic takes along for the adventure and acts as the stand in for the audience. I can’t really say he’s bland because he carries with him a lot of energy and fun line deliveries, but he’s not exactly something special. I appreciate that he starts off a good guy instead of starting off a negative individual turned positive by Sonic. So Tom…you get a respectable 6/10, not bad but nothing special.
- Dr Robotnik: Here he is, the one I was most hyped so see, and he was everything I’d hoped. Jim Carrey is probably one of my favourite actors, and it’s great to see him back in the groove in this movie. I wouldn’t say he plays a good Robotnik per say, but rather it’s just Jim Carrey giving us a fun Jim Carrey performance. As a Robotnik character, he does a good job, able to capture Robotnik’s slipping sanity and extreme arrogance as well as desire to capture Sonic. It’s amazing to See Jim Carrey back on the scene and he flawed said scene with a pretty amazing performance. Let’s give Jim a solid 8/10.
- The Other Characters: The other characters in this movie are…whatever. Tom’s wife is a nice enough character, albeit a bit boring, but she’s a pleasant character and I’m glad she stays supportive and doesn’t follow the trope of the partner with shaken trust during the movie. Her sister is totally unnecessary and in my opinion really added nothing. I don’t know I just don’t like the idea of a character who’s sole trait is to hate one of the main characters, even though she does get one of the best jokes in the movie. The army General is fine, but he exists only to bring Robotnick into the plot, and advertise Olive Garden and their Never Ending Pasta Bowl. Also kudos to Agent Stone for being a funny second half to Robotnik. These side characters get 7/10.
This is a big one. As we all know Sonic had a redesign following the Eldrich demon the studio summoned previously. Other than the new design, which is a great adaptation of Sonic’s video game design, the rest of the movie has decent presentation. The Badniks look pretty good, impressive textures and some pleasing sleek designs, and the action itself is fast paced and well choreographed. I appreciate the clever camera angles used during the infamous Robotnik dance sequence, and the final fight has a lot of varied and well constructed environments. There’s nothing really stand out about the presentation, but it succeeds at making for a visually pleasing movie with some good motion, decent action and good set design. Although it does raise the question…what would this movie have looked like if they kept the original design.
- Story: 8/10 – It’s by the numbers and would usually be a 6/10. But the emotional beats and little individual moments sprinkled throughout elevate this otherwise basic story to a higher grade.
- Characters: 8/10 – These are good characters at best and kinda pointless at worst. For the most part the characters here are great, Sonic is portrayed well, Robotnik is great and Tom is fine. I was invested in these characters and really loved their individual stories.
- Presentation: 7/10 – Nothing really special here, the cinematography was good, the effects were good, the redesign was a fabulous upgrade. I liked the way the action was presented and the climax had a lot of visual pop to it.
- Enjoyability: 9/10 – What can I say? I’m a sucker for movies that just ooze personality and fun, and this does that in bucket-loads. The jokes were fun, the performances were full of life and personality, and the morals and themes were all very well handled and enhanced the picture.
Final Grade: 8/10
So yeah, this is a good movie. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s amazing, but I will definitely say its enjoyable. It has the special quality I feel many big movie releases miss out on. It doesn’t feel like this movie talks down it it’s audience, and it has a lot of heart behind it, really making a down to earth production that feels satisfying to watch. The Sonic redesign really shows how determined the team was to make this a movie for the fans. I hope that this positive fan response gets us a sequel, this team has great talent and I would love to see them tackle other Sonic characters, as well as a fully insane Robotnik from Carrey. Plus this movie offers much opportunity for various stories in the future and I would love to see them explored.
Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it. If you did please consider liking the post and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Until next time.