Director: Jeff Fowler
Starring: James Marsden, Jim Carrey
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rated: PG (For action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild language)
It's the latter decision that would make this film more noteworthy than it otherwise would have been, but we'll get to that in a Super Sonic second (no need to 'rush' things, after all [ho ho]). On that first note, however, it seems the film makers were certainly doing their homework when they decided it would be a great idea to cast Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr. Robotnik. I'm not sure how that decision was made or why Carrey decided to accept, but it brings new meaning to the term "the villain is usually the most interesting character in the movie." Well, alright, 'interesting' might be a stretch, but he's certainly the most entertaining one here. Rather than the somber and serious Jim Carrey we've come to know the past decade, we get the lovable nineties Jim Carrey who talks fast, is flamboyantly manic, and does random dances that I can't for the life of me explain why they are important to the story itself...but dang, they sure are fun!
Instead of having a somewhat realistic character who blends with the real world but is unappealing to the eyes, we now have a literal cartoon character that doesn't fit with his surroundings at all, but is much more pleasing to gaze upon. If I'm being honest I'm not sure if that's an entirely great trade off (and I would certainly like to see what was finished of the original footage to see how some of this would have come off), however it seems like the right decision was made. Not because it placated a bunch of angry Sonic fans, but because the movie plays so much like a cartoon, it seems silly the project at one point considered not embracing this aspect to the fullest. Considering Sonic was at one point more recognizable than Mickey Mouse, the old design should have never gotten to the point it did, and while I've got mixed reactions as to how to got changed, I don't think Paramount could have sustained another infamous design choice like the ones in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," so I'm cutting them some slack. As for the rest of the movie...eh, it's a kids movie. What do you want me to say?
The action scenes are appropriately focused on a lot of speed and robots, the screenplay has the usual fart jokes one would expect, and Jason Marsden is a pro at acting alongside cartoon characters after having starred in "Hop" and "Enchanted" (and having pointed that out, it sort of feels like a promotion to be in "Sonic the Hedgehog"). The fact that the movie is better than, say, "Yogi Bear" comes down to having a good actor elevating the material and a late-to-the-game redesign that everybody happened to love. Otherwise "Sonic the Hedgehog" likely wouldn't have crossed the recommendation line. That it does comes off as a bit of a happy accident, and I can certainly say with confidence that parents are unlikely to be too bored. I mean, sure, it's not "Detective Pikachu," but it's also not "Marmaduke," so I'll take my wins where I can and safely recommend it for parents who have young kids and limited movie options in theaters at the moment. Should a sequel come along hopefully the film makers will lean more into the animated aspects, but we'll cross that crumbling bridge when we get there.
Parents, there are a few curse words uttered by Jim Carrey and a sequence inn a bar that might make some parents squirm. Recommended for ages 7 and up.