Radar reviews the controversial blast from the past film adaptation of a much-loved blue spiky-haired character- Sonic the Hedgehog.
You might have heard of the new live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film for a variety of reasons. The most likely reason is due to the film’s infamous preview trailer which was universally critiqued for the design of its titular character.
However, the production team listened carefully to the multitude of scathing fans and produced a far more faithful adaptation. Even though the film was delayed by several months due to the redesign, Sonic the Hedgehog showed a lot of promise!
It’s no secret that the majority of audiences appreciate a tragic backstory as it brings relatable and emotive depth to characters. And yes, this film delivers on that! The story opens with our blue-haired protagonist being forced into leaving everything he knows and is in order to keep those closest to him safe. This introduction tugged at our heartstrings and we felt sympathetic towards Sonic as he had to unwillingly leave the only life he has ever known to be transported to not just another country...oh no... to an entirely different planet!
Ben Schwartz also did a fantastic job as Sonic’s voice by keeping true to the characteristics that everyone knows and loves him for – a caring yet somewhat flippant hero! Since Sonic delivered on being such a great personality (as found within the games), it made us root for him all the way throughout the film.
This film is perfect for people of all ages whether they are Sonic fans or not. There are many memorable scenes to mention for that exact reason. One scene in particular which was laughably adorable, has Sonic rescue a turtle from being run over by a car only to give it some “adrenaline” noting how slow it was compared to himself. It ends up with the turtle shaking in fear (literally) after the traumatizing experience!
We see Sonic develop gradually from ‘zero to hero’ as he realises that he can’t run away from situations fighting to protect his friends. He has to face them head-on. This character development also has him shed his initial fear of being lonely as he discovers many close friends on Earth such as James Marsden’s ambitious sheriff Tom and his wife Maddie played by Tika Sumpter.
Speaking of Tom, we see a great connection between him and Sonic. Tom was initially reluctant to assist Sonic in his quest, yet we see their friendship blossom over time which is always great to see in any film. However, other characters such as Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) were not as memorable as we had hoped him to be. Although Robotnik had some iconic moments in the film along with his minion Stone, he was sadly a disappointment.
The film also has a great nostalgic soundtrack for avid fans. After Sonic beats Dr. Robotnik (like he usually does), he is now at peace in his new home with Tom and Maddie in Green Hills, Montana. The music in this final scene features a piano arrangement of Green Hill Zone played in the background, giving a true homage to the original 1991 video game and it was very uplifting.
To conclude, this film will blow your expectations out of the water and definitely makes up for its rather lackluster initial advertisement. Also, a tasty mid-credit appearance from a mystery character, well-known to Sonic fans, hints that a sequel is in the pipeline. We hope that if a sequel is ever made, this character will join the main cast of this film to produce another epic adaptation like this one.