Sonic the Hedgehog – Short take review

Short Take: A film industry term that means something that only takes a short time.

Reel Dialogue Short Take

A short review of a film with potential discussion points

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Synopsis: Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) has been part of the video gaming world for close to 30 years, yet he does not look a day over 10. He has been the subject of games, comics and animated series, but this is his first feature-length live-action film. The origins of the speedy, blue alien begin with his arrival to earth as a means of escaping his enemies on his own planet.

He lives a lonely existence in the bushland of Montana until he is discovered by the local sheriff, Tom (James Marsden). The unlikely pair must work together to retrieve a special package of magical rings before the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) finds them. This mad capped, fast-paced adventure has all of the elements that fans enjoy about the game. Including the over the top antics of the elastic-bodied Carrey that goes from ridiculous to preposterous. 

Review: This is a story of the two ‘Jims’ and a gaming icon. The first is a comedian who seems to have found the vehicle that will reintroduce him to the world. Jim Carrey was made for this part as the arch-villain to a video game character. His role is designed for him to over-act and use his unique physicality to entertain the masses. Sonic seems to have given him an infusion to his career and an outlet for his comedic gifts. One the other hand, James ‘Jim’ Marsden seems to have taken this job as a respite from his hard-hitting role on Westworld. It can be the only explanation why an accomplished actor with his extensive filmography would play the sidekick to a blue hedgehog.

Yet, this film is really an attempt to give new life to a video game icon. Sonic does not contain a depth of character that needs to be overly investigated. He is simply a speedster, both verbally and in action. That is really all he has to offer and fans have supported this legendary figure for three decades. To expect that the film would provide any compelling or groundbreaking story components is a bit too much to ask. In the end, this is movie for the fanbase of this video game character and future gamers who may seek out the SEGA game for the first time.

REEL DIALOGUE: What should parents know about Sonic the Hedgehog? Reminiscent of the gaming series itself, there is not much to say. A blue hedgehog that runs fast and is chased by a megalomaniac who wants to conquer the world. There are few redeeming qualities to the story, except one. Sonic the Hedgehog does not contain any truly objectionable material, except the expected toilet jokes and video game-like violence. A film that manages to use up 99 minutes of your life unapologetically, kind of like playing the video game. 

Actual summary: Sonic runs, Sonic jumps through rings, Dr. Robotnik chases him, insert fart joke here, the end.