Reviews - Updated on April 7, 2022

About a year ago, the first images of cinematic Sonic appeared on the Web. The reaction of the Internet to the design of the blue hedgehog from the upcoming film adaptation was, to put it mildly, outraged. The debut trailer for the song Gangsta’s Paradise also added fuel to the fire. Artists from Paramount Pictures made Sonic too anthropomorphic by drawing him a human mouth and small eyes. The proportions of the character’s body and his excessive hairiness also looked as repulsive as possible. Fans immediately began to redraw the hero to show how ridiculous the cinematic Sonic looks against the background of his canonical images from the games.

The indignation of the public did its job, and the producers of Sonic the Movie decided to change the design of the blue hedgehog. True, for this it was necessary to move the premiere of the film a few months ahead. To everyone’s joy, the transfer was worth it: the updated Sonic looks much closer to his game version. And all would be well, but the design of the main character, as it turned out, was far from the only problem with the film adaptation of the popular Sega franchise.

Hedgehog in the fog

Sonic the Movie was directed by Jeff Fowler, a director who has no major projects under his belt – only a four-minute short film “Gopher Broke Off”. In 2005, she was even nominated for an Oscar as the best animated short film, but did not take the award. And even though the cartoon lacked stars from the sky, Paramount Pictures, apparently, saw the potential in Jeff, once they entrusted him with filming the adaptation of the famous video game series.

One of the biggest challenges when making film adaptations is to adequately fit the game’s story to the film’s frame. It is often very difficult to do this, and something completely new is being written for the film adaptation. This is what happened with Sonic the Movie.

According to the plot of the film, Sonic fled to Earth from his home world, and is now hiding in the outskirts of the American town of Green Hills. For ten years, he had fun as best he could: reading comics about The Flash in his lair, playing table tennis with himself, watching the locals. He especially liked to “stalker” after the good-natured policeman Tom Wachowski (played by James Marsden [James Marsden]) and his wife. In the evenings, they often watched movies, and Sonic watched all this from the street through the window.

At one point, this whole not very normal way of life ended. Because of the surging loneliness, Sonic began to wind circles on the baseball field super-fast, which caused a strong release of energy. The government took an immediate interest in this. The hunt for the source of energy begins: Jim Carrey, who played the role of Dr. Robotnik in the film, enters into action.

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Hiding from an aggressive scientist, the blue hedgehog enlisted the support of Tom. The policeman is also on the run, and together with Sonic they go to San Francisco.

We’ve already seen stories about a fantastic CG animal and her human partner more than once: Pokémon. Detective Pikachu”, “The Third Extra”, “Garfield” and so on. “Sonic the Movie” is completely uninventive in this regard. The characters, as is usually the case, are gradually approaching each other, although there are by and large no prerequisites for this. It is not clear why Tom even decides to sacrifice his measured life for the sake of an alien, whom he knows nothing at all, and why he endures all his childish antics.

Sonic behaves as capriciously as possible and does what he pleases. But it must be assumed that the young audience, for which the film is intended, will be delighted with this. And the main character constantly changes his role depending on who he needs to be according to the script – either he is stupid and naive, or he suddenly knows a bunch of nuances about the life of earthlings.

The moral of the film also looks very strange, which can be reduced to the saying “Where you were born, there you came in handy.” Sonic condemns Tom for wanting to move with his wife from Green Hills to San Francisco and work there. A policeman thinks that he will be much more useful in a big city than in a province where nothing happens, and he has to perform tasks that anyone could handle. But … in the finale, Tom simply dismisses the prospects.

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The canonical image of Robotnik was shown to us in the first trailer. Alas, the appearance of Willy Tokarev appears in Kerry at the very end of the film.

With a hole in the right side

As you already understood, the plot of Sonic the Movie is not going smoothly. Fortunately, things are much better with recognizable elements from blue hedgehog video games. There are gameplay references in the film. Sonic attacks by jumping into a ball. The global goal – to collect rings – is also taken straight from the games, only here golden rings are used as portals between locations and entire worlds.

The town where Sonic hid for ten years is called Green Hills, which refers us to the Green Hill Zone, the first level of Sonic the Hedgehog. And the design of this level is reflected in how the hedgehog’s home world looks on the big screen: here you have dead loops from bright green paths, and a checkered earth.

If the game Sonic is left for a while, he will start tapping his foot impatiently. Filmmakers did not leave this detail without attention, and in the film the main character, at the moment of ostentatious waiting on the roof of a skyscraper, behaves in exactly the same way. Not done in the film adaptation and without memes. The only resident of Green Hills who noticed Sonic drew a sketch of a mysterious blue creature. And this sketch looked one to one like “Sanik” – a meme that appeared in 2010, when an amateur lesson on drawing Sonic in MS Paint was released on YouTube.

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In his lair, the energetic Sonic kept fit in every possible way. In the nunchaku scene, he can be seen wearing a headband with the game’s original logo during training.

Above, I have listed far from all the references, but the list should still be completed, and this should be done on Dr. Robotnik. Kerry played the villain perfectly – a brilliant and at the same time inadequate scientist who sleeps and sees how to catch Sonic in order to conduct his experiments on him. The actor’s demeanor is reminiscent of Ace Ventura and Musk, his iconic roles from the 90s, proving that the talented comedian still remembers how to make people laugh.

There are great jokes in Sonic the Movie, but there are so few of them that they are lost against the backdrop of the general bacchanalia of third-rate humor. For example, in the hotel scene, Sonic passes gas. The children in the hall, of course, are delighted, they laugh out loud. The dance performance from Fortnite is apparently designed for the same reaction. At the same time, there were moments in the film when only adults laughed. This is a normal practice for family films, but the bias towards low-brow humor is depressing.

Sonic the Movie relies on well-known techniques. The periodic appeal of the protagonist to the audience and rewind to the beginning of the story after we were shown a mess from the middle, we have already seen more than once in other films. There is a story about a super-fast blue hedgehog and a scene literally written off from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sonic, just like Mercury, changes the location of objects in the room while the whole world freezes. Only Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce is missing to complete the picture.

However, the film has no problems with music. In Sonic the Movie, Queen’s song Don’t Stop Me Now sounds very appropriate, especially its line I wanna make a supersonic man out of you. Dr. Robotnik organically dances to Poppy Family – Where Evil Grows. This song was written back in the early 70s, and Jim Carrey himself suggested using it in the film. The dance was also his personal initiative and improvisation. As for the music from the original games, it certainly could have been more. Familiar melodies sound from time to time, but I would like to hear stylized tracks more often.

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Still, the updated appearance of Sonic definitely benefited the film.

***

Like Pokemon. Detective Pikachu”, “Sonic Movie” is aimed primarily at a young audience. For older viewers, a few jokes are scattered around the film, but in general, they will not save you from boredom and a weak plot. However, the film adaptation of the games about the blue hedgehog, in general, is not required: for the first weekend, the film’s worldwide box office exceeded $ 100 million. Now “Sonic Movie” is demonstrating really unprecedented speed – this is the most successful start in the United States among game adaptations. This means that there will almost certainly be a continuation, and all those unambiguous hints with which the ending is seasoned will probably receive some kind of development.

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