A Day at the Races with Sonic the Hedgehog

25 Feb

Image result for sonic hedgehog poster movieBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

As Sonic the Hedgehog stays ahead in dominating the box office, this movie has everything video game aficionados of the Sega game expects to see. There are fun moments of him jumping around, dodging drones, and saving his friends all while searching for mystic rings that can help him teleport to new worlds. This real world setting may well hint at the next game–should look like if developers want to create Sonic Maximum 3D Overdrive.

The blue speedster is a kid who wants real friendships. When he’s a unique creature others want to exploit, to know who are his allies and enemies requires him to stay ahead of the game. The plot focuses on how to build trust, and that’s terrific. It’s a film meant for kids to enjoy and also take home to cuddle. On Earth, Sonic eventually comes to believe small-town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) and his veterinarian wife, Maddie (Tika Sumpter) can help him.

Unfortunately, the tyke’s antics shuts down most of the power grid of the Eastern US seaboard. That’s how fast he can generate power. His super-speed can be used to power any electrical device by a simple matter of physics; keeping him stuck in a hamster ball is the last thing he wants to be in, but that’s what Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey) plans to do.

With no surprise, this comedian carries the film. Jim goes full on classic style Ace Ventura (with an evil bent). I can’t see anyone else able to pull off the laughs like he does, and the technology! Despite the hoo-ha with the character design when marketing started for the movie, the studios were wise to delay the film and retain Sonic’s classic look. Ben Schwartz goes all out to make this spritely character as likeable as Gizmo from Gremlins. While integrating CGI characters into the real life landscape has not changed since the days of Yogi Bear, I could buy into the illusion since the illusion is only as good as believing the actors performing against objects who are stand-ins during filming.

As for who’s next to catch the little blue lighting bolt, I like to see Neal McDonough be more involved in the sequel. He is a foil to Robotnik, and this fine actor didn’t have much to do in this movie. Hopefully Major Bennington will play more of a role since Tom and Maddie can’t take care of Sonic all the time. Another guardian than that cameo during end credits is needed.

4 Stars out of 5

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