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April 24, 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) --- “A Hedgehog Becomes A Hero.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed by Jeff Fowler, and screenplay written by Patrick Casey (12 Deadly Days) and Josh Miller (12 Deadly Days), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is a live-action adventure comedy based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega that centers around the infamously brash and bright blue hedgehog, Sonic. After being forced out of his original dimension due to his powers of super-speed, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has spent the last ten years jumping from one dimension to the next thanks to his bag of magical coins. While living in the small town of Green Hills, Montana, Sonic causes a large scale blackout that attracts the attention of the eccentric evil genius Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey). He soon enlists the help of local police officer Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to aid him in avoiding capture, find his magical coins, and stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik from using Sonic’s power for world domination. 
     In his directorial debut, Jeff Fowler does great in helming this film, showing off good storytelling and some solid special effects, specifically when it comes to Sonic. When the first Sonic film trailer hit theaters Sonic’s original design for this film was poorly received and met with ruthless criticism from fans so it was decided that the film would be delayed and major redesigns to Sonic would be made. Fortunately, this works in the film’s favor because he both resembled the video game and was more naturally integrated into the real world. 
     Now the story is relatively simple and pulls inspiration from other plotlines, like the superhero origin story and the road trip plotline. This is very much a family film that is cute and engaging for the kids while adults who grew up with Sonic will find a lot of nostalgia-driven humor and connections to the games. Even if you, not a hardcore Sonic fan, the film provides enough fun action and quirky humor to draw in audience members and is a pleasing film until the end. The film’s main message is that you are never alone in the world because there will always be someone for you to talk to or be friends with, that everything else that’s telling you that you are alone is a lie.
    Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation, Space Force) was the perfect choice to voice the super-fast anthropomorphic blue hedgehog, Sonic, as well as provide the facial motion capture for Sonic. He was great in emanating Sonic’s trademark cocky attitude while also showcasing his loneliness and longing for friendship, for a home, which made him more relatable to the audience. James Marsden (Mrs. America) gave a likable and  charming performance as Green Hills sheriff Tom Wachowski. He provided some maturity to the film but also didn’t shy away from delivering his fair share of funny moments. The odd-couple dynamic between Sonic and Tom is great, similar to that of an energetic teenager and a tired dad duo. Tika Sumpter (Southside With You, Ride Along with series) provides a good supporting performance as Maddie Wachowski, Tom’s wife, and a veterinarian. Jim Carrey (Kidding) steals the show as Dr. Robotnik because the character was so perfectly tailored to his comedic talents and because it was also nostalgic of some of his over-the-top eccentric roles from the ’90s like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and The Mask (1994). The rest of the characters deliver some good supporting roles to the main characters, although most were a bit more forgettable than others.
     Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is an entertaining and fun family filled with action and humor to entertain both young viewers and fans of the game. The story is good and the cast was great. All in all, if you're a fan of the Sonic game then I am sure you will find some enjoyment out of this.

Final Vote --- 6 of 10 stars


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