Updated: Feb 26, 2020
There is a lot to love about this scrappy, spunky little guy who is constantly on the run for his very life.
Despite a Disneyesque loss of a parental figure moment in the opening five minutes (I only mention this little spoiler to flag parents about this potentially traumatizing moment) the movie kicks into high gear and never takes its foot off the proverbial pedal. And it proceeds to fire on all eight, high-octane cylinders all the way to the finish.
It’s as revved up as its 300-mile-per-hour main character, but the entertainment is not limited to the visual thrill ride alone. Sonic is a fully realized character with a lot of nuance in terms of his presence and emotional depth. That may sound like a lot to bestow on a crazy-looking, computer animated, blue hedgehog.
The human characters are also nicely developed, from the young couple who befriend Sonic to the sinister arch villain played by the inimitable Jim Carrey who is constantly in hot pursuit. Carrey’s Dr. Ivo Robotnik is both the world’s most intelligent human being as well as the world’s most arrogant, dismissive and repugnant misfit. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Jim Carrey tear loose in a role like this—one that taps into his unique style of whacky, over-the-top comedy. I’ve missed him and it’s great to see him reconnect with a role that taps into what he does best.
From a scriptwriting standpoint, Sonic is rock solid with laugh-a- minute material laced with some subtle humor throughout. Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey will appreciate the creepy HAL 9000 glowing red computer eye that appears in Dr. Robotnik’s high-tech vehicles and drones. His twisted mind has created come very cool killing machines. Terrifying enough to make any blue-haired hero run the soles off his sneakers.
The story touches all the bases in terms of cuteness, tenderness, and friendship mixed in with adrenaline charged chases and dramatic confrontations. There is a lot of well-written dialog throughout. I was entertained, and I must confess, I never played the Sonic the Hedgehog video game!
Sonic does what a lot of other live action/computer animated movies have often tried and failed to do. It offers up some nice little heartfelt moments that avoid the pitfalls of schmaltziness and silliness that can spoil a movie like this. Not an easy task.
For the record, I was amused and entertained enough that I would go back and see Sonic a second time--and I see a lot of movies!
Hats off to a movie project that everyone at the studio apparently believed in and proceeded to serve up so well. I think the diehard fans will be delighted. Sonic soars !