Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2020 American-Japanese adventure comedy film based on Sega's video game franchise of the same name. It stars Ben Schwartz as the title character Sonic, Jim Carrey as his nemesis Doctor Ivo Robotnik, James Marsden as Sonic's human companion and Green Hills sheriff Tom Wachowski, and Tika Sumpter as Tom's wife, Maddie.
The film was scheduled to release on November 8, 2019, but due to backlash regarding Sonic's design in the trailer released in April of that year and the redesign that ensued, the film was instead pushed back to February 14, 2020.
Sonic is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog from another world, fleeing to Earth to escape the villains who want to harness his supersonic energy. After accidentally causing a power outage while hiding out in the town of Green Hills, Montana, he is targeted by the government, who hires the eccentric scientist, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, to hunt him down. Green Hills sheriff Tom Wachowski must help Sonic evade capture, collect all the rings, and prevent Robotnik from using Sonic's powers to rule the world.
Why It Rocks Edit
- Addressing the elephant in the room, the CGI used for Sonic is great. He is given a design more faithful to the franchise than the original April 2019 design with his rocket shoes, gloves, eyes, head, and general body proportions. The greatness of the CGI also extends to Green Hill Zone, Sonic's speeding scenes, and Robotnik's robots and rockets.
- Great adherence to the source material.
- Sonic's narration at the beginning of the film is impressive.
- Following the negative reception of the first trailer, the film had genuine passion into caring about the fans who grew up with the games and other media and respecting the intelligence of children (its main target audience) rather than pander and insult them.
- Amazing casting choices and acting. Jim Carrey puts his famous charisma into Robotnik, channeling his iconic 90s roles and stealing the show. Ben Schwartz is hilarious and endearing as Sonic, capturing the charm of the original Sonic voice actors, Ryan Drummond and Jason Griffith, as well as Roger Craig Smith, with Sonic's heroic and optimistic attitude. James Marsden also brings a lot of humidity and realism to Tom Wachowski.
- Funny, well-written comedy. For example, Sonic plays baseball with himself just because he is fast enough to be in over one place at once, and his attempt to disguise himself as a cat in front of Tom, but fails. There's also the bar fight scene that parodies Quicksilver, and Sonic calling Tom Wachowski the "Donut Lord."
- The film includes many Easter Eggs referencing the video game franchise.
- Sonic uses a sign that says "Hill Top Rd" as a board for table tennis.
- A Green Hill Zone-resembling island is present, and the town is called Green Hills.
- One of the TV spots shows Sonic doing the same pose he did in Super Smash Bros: Ultimate.
- Sonic also refers to Robotnik as "Eggman," his nickname in the games, more than once.
- The film even includes the Echidna Tribe.
- Amazing soundtrack, especially the film's theme song "Speed Me Up." "Friends" from Sonic Mania is used during the Baby Sonic sequence.
- Baby Sonic. And Fluffy Sonic. Very funny.
- Lovable and sympathetic characters.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is a creature from another world who lost his motherly figure at a young age and has been living his entire life on Earth as a loner.
- Dr. Robotnik is an eccentric but intelligent orphan scientist who comes from a history of bullying and has no value for human life, being a well-written and flamboyant villain all the way through.
- Tom Wachowski is a Green Hills cop with the noble goal of saving and protecting lives and repeatedly makes sacrifices for Sonic and his wife, Maddie.
- It deserves a mention that Tom and Sonic have amazing chemistry, and both execute a funny and heartwarming take on the bromance dynamic.
- Great lines, such as "I was not expecting that. But I was expecting not to expect something, so it doesn't count".
- Several heartwarming moments, like Tom’s niece Jojo giving Sonic his trademark shoes.
- Amazing action, complete with well-executed climaxes. The final battle between Sonic and Robotnik is a primary example.
- Not one, but two exciting scenes (one after the logo and one after the credits) that promise a sequel. The former involves Robotnik being alone on the Mushroom Planet, gaining his classic appearance, and claiming he'll be home by Christmas. In contrast, the latter involves Tails taking flight to find Sonic in the post-credits scene.
- A creative twist on the Paramount logo, in which the stars are replaced with rings. The music is also set to an orchestral rendition of the Green Hill Zone theme.
- The pacing is well-done.
- Pays homage to pop culture, like the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate pose mentioned before, and Crazy Carl sketching Sonic, with the sketch resembling the old internet meme Sanic.
Bad Qualities Edit
- The story is quite clichéd; it involves a human character meeting an anthropomorphic character. They, at first, don't get along and eventually become friends, and they cause tons of mayhem as the movie progresses.
- Somewhat poor grasp of the source material. For example, Sonic's fur becomes electrified whenever his emotions are strong; a feature never exhibited in any of the games or any other continuity.
- During the production, most of these fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, as well as these some of these fans of the Sega games and the Sega consoles (such as Genesis, Game Gear and Dreamcast), does not like Sonic's initial humanoid design, so they to send letters to Paramount Pictures studios, saying that they want his design which is "much-more Sonic-like".
- They do kind of overdo it on the product placement point outs, like Sonic wearing Puma shoes, and an entire scene dedicated to plugging Olive Garden.
- The humor can sometimes be poor, like both times Sonic is seen flossing.
Critical reception Edit
The film received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critic score of 64% and an audience score of 93%. Its consensus reads, "Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy -- and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews.". It is often considered one of the best video-game based movies, along with Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Box office Edit
In the US and Canada, the film grossed $70 million on its opening weekend and has grossed $131.9 million overall. In comparison, it grossed $141.1 million in other territories, for a total of $273 million worldwide against a $95 million production budget, making the film a commercial success. It is currently the second-highest-grossing film of 2020, and set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game movie adaptation in the US and Canada, beating the $58 million set by Pokémon Detective Pikachu.