Live Action Sonic Sets New Standard For Video Game Movies

Movie Review


Paramount Pictures

Fernando Rios-Flores, Staff Reporter

When we first heard that the famous blue blur, “Sonic The Hedgehog,” was getting a live-action movie, we all had mixed reactions. The first poster came out in December 2018, and fans around the world were outraged, rightfully so. The long slender legs, the shape of Sonic’s head, and his gloves that  were replaced by hands made him look completely different. To make matters worse, this was just a teaser that didn’t show Sonic’s face or other features.

 On May 2, the director of the film, Jeff Fowler tweeted this: “Thank you for your support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want it to change. It’s going to happen.” Fowler continued, “Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be…”. A light of hope appeared on both the studio and fans. Everything seemed like it could be a bit better.

It turned out, everyone was.

Before the movie begins, the paramount logo is shown, but the familiar stars are replaced by Sonic’s iconic golden rings. Several other easter eggs are peppered throughout this movie, and I think many fans will find it enjoyable to spot.  

In the movie’s opening sequence, Sonic is seen running from Dr. Robotnik, who is played incredibly well by Jim Carrey. The movie allows Carrey to go crazy and give his best performance as Sonic’s archnemesis. However, the only one who could beat Carrey’s performance is Ben Schwartz, who voiced the blue blur himself. He may not be the voice actor of the games and cartoons, but he definitely gives an amazing performance that definitely earns him the title as Sonic the Hedgehog. 

As the chase is going on the movie stops and Sonic begins narrating how he got to this point. We get a flashback to Sonic as a baby, running around what looks like the first level in 1991’s “Sonic the Hedgehog,” Green Hill Zone. Baby Sonic arrives at Longclaw’s home. She is an anthropomorphic owl from another planet and was the protector of Sonic. However, when Sonic arrives at her home, they were attacked by a tribe that looked extremely similar to Knuckles in the main Sonic games. The pair tried to escape, but Longclaw was injured during the escape. With little time, Longclaw uses one of the golden rings she has to send Sonic to a different planet. Sonic runs with the bag of rings, only to see Longclaw stay behind to try and buy him some time. Once the ring’s portal closed, Baby Sonic was left alone in the forest. 

For a kids movie, this is pretty dark. It becomes so much sadder when Sonic accidentally exposes his powers by causing a massive power outage. The U.S. government goes to investigate until Dr. Robotnik takes full control of the investigation. Sonic starts panicking knowing that he has to leave the place he’s called home for so long. He doesn’t escape in time because he gets shot in the leg with a tranquilizer dart. As Sonic slowly passes out, he opens a portal to San Francisco and drops his rings on a rooftop. This caused a series of events that took Sonic and the sheriff of Green Hills named Tom Wachowski on a road trip to recover Sonic’s lost rings. Tom Wachowski is played by James Marsden and gives a great performance throughout the film.  Tom agrees to help Sonic find his lost rings since it was his fault that Sonic was still on this planet. 

Sonic and Tom have a few disagreements, but they ultimately get along very quickly. I love that they didn’t waste any time and continued with the main story. There were two scenes that really showed the kind of friendship between the two. One is a bar fight scene and the car chase.

Before the fight began, Tom and Sonic looked like best friends having a good time hanging out, responsibly. This is still a kids movie after all. When the two are approached by a group of people, things get out of hand when Sonic attempts to do something he saw in a movie. As one man was about to tackle Sonic, everyone slowed down. Everyone except Sonic. This scene reminded me so much of the famous Quicksilver scene in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” This bar scene is basically ripped from the movie, but it is used so well. It showed Sonic taking care of everybody in the bar, while also making sure that his friend wouldn’t be in harm’s way. Once everything sped up, everybody besides Tom and Sonic was knocked onto the floor. They left the bar and felt like they had the time of their life. This scene showed how close they’ve become and how much Tom risked for Sonic.

The end of the car chase scene also showed how close the two were when they were under attack by one of Robotnik’s robots. Once Sonic withered the machine, a miniature drone used a laser to remove their truck’s roof. Sonic quickly grabbed the robot, pulling it apart. Unfortunately, once he pulled the drone apart, the drone stuck to his hand and it started to beep. They pulled over to try and remove the bomb. Once Sonic removed it, he celebrated too early asking for a high five and the device detonated, knocking Sonic out. After barely recovering from the aftermath of the explosion, Tom carries Sonic to the truck and drives for help. They meet up with Tom’s wife, who helps Sonic recover and is gifted his iconic red shoes. At this point in the story, Tom and Sonic are both wanted and Tom is willing to endanger his loved one’s safety in order to save Sonic’s life.

Video Game films are usually seen as failures and huge disappointments, so it was assumed that Sonic was going be another mediocre film, but, that redesign changed everything. “Sonic The Hedgehog” has earned over $57 million opening weekend, beating “Detective Pikachu” with it’s $54 million. This movie is enjoyable for both kids and long-time fans. This is yet another movie that is worth checking out. Oh, one more thing! Don’t forget to stick around for the after-credits scene.