Sonic The Hedgehog

April 15, 2020

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...a diverting and effortlessly entertaining riff on the classic video game character.
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Sonic The Hedgehog

Erin Free
Year: 2020
Rating: PG
Director: Jeff Fowler
Cast:

Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter

Distributor: Paramount
Released: Digitally available now
Running Time: 99 minutes
Worth: $15.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

…a diverting and effortlessly entertaining riff on the classic video game character.

The wisecracking-animated-character-and-harried-human buddy flick has a fairly long if not exactly celebrated history in film (from Who Framed Roger Rabbit through to Woody Woodpecker, Alvin And The Chipmunks and Detective Pikachu), and Sonic The Hedgehog is a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the list. Anchored by a charming voice turn from Ben Schwartz in the title role, and a prime slab of over-the-top Jim Carrey madness, it’s a diverting and effortlessly entertaining riff on the classic video game character. Sure, it’s no masterpiece, but considering the initial outcry over how the film would be visually essaying its title character, it’s a pretty good result.

Sonic is a super-fast alien hedgehog hurled from his home planet, and living alone on the outskirts of a small American town, where he has made himself familiar with its rhythms of daily life. After a roundabout swing of plot exposition, the fast-talking Sonic ends up on a cross-country road trip with the town’s deputy sheriff, Tom Wachowski (an admirably fully committed James Marsden, who obviously enjoyed playing opposite an animated Easter Bunny in Hop and has come back for more), to retrieve a set of golden rings which will return him to his home world. The only problem? Jim Carrey’s hi-tech loony, Dr. Robotnik, is on their trail, and he has his own unfortunately nefarious plans for Sonic The Hedgehog.

Making his feature debut after the 2004 animated short, Gopher Broke, Jeff Fowler sensibly keeps things economical with Sonic The Hedgehog, moving the plot forward at a brisk clip, and making his messages (the power and importance of friendship etc) nice and simple. The only place where Fowler lets things get loose is in the personage of one Jim Carrey, who is well and truly off the leash and hamming it up deluxe, even by his larger-than-life standards. It’s a loopy showcase for Carrey’s profoundly nutso predilections, and he literally pops off the screen. It’s certainly nothing new, but Sonic The Hedgehog is a hectic, colourful and good natured diversion.

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