Next up in the elusive search for a great video game movie comes Sega’s entrant Sonic the Hedgehog. Based on the video game, which I’ve never played, is the fast-running, fast-talking cute-as-a-button blue hedgehog, Sonic (Ben Schwartz). What I do know from the game is a world where there’s a lot of running tracks and gold rings.
Opening with a thankfully short intro of Sonic’s world, our furry friend is a one-of-a-kind alien of some sort. His super-kinetic-speed is a highly sought-after power, that if harnessed can be used for no-good-purpose. Sonic finds a mentor in Longclaw (Donna Jay Fulks), a wise owl, who teaches him how to use his power for good. Before you can blink an eye, Longclaw is fridged, but not before giving Sonic a bag of magical rings that if spun correctly acts as a teleportation gateway to other worlds. She tells Sonic to hide and if he’s ever discovered, he must teleport to another world. He’s a lost soul jumping from world to world.
“Tom decides to help Sonic get to San Francisco while being chased by Dr. Robotnik and his massive army of drones…”
After years of running, Sonic finds himself on the second-to-last planet left for him to hide, Earth. Here Sonic is in middle America and attached himself to a small-town sheriff, Tom (James Marsden) and his wife, Maddie (Tika Sumpter), but they, of course, don’t know anything about him. One day, Sonic inadvertently causes a power surge, which in turn causes the government to send the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to investigate.
I’ll just cut to the chase. After Tom shoots Sonic with an animal tranquilizer, Sonic’s bag of gold rings is dropped on top of the Transamerica building in San Francisco. Tom decides to help Sonic get to San Francisco while being chased by Dr. Robotnik and his massive army of drones. Tom and Sonic soon go on a road trip, where their friendship and loyalty are tested and both learn a little lesson about home.
Let’s start with the positive stuff. Sonic and Dr. Robotnik are the stars of the film, and I actually like their characters. Sonic is cute and good with the one-liners, and Ben Schwartz manages to only become annoying when he starts “flossing.” Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik does what he does best. His portrayal is over-the-top funny and clearly, Carrey is in his element. It reminds me a lot of Fire Marshall Bill.