Sonic – the ring-collecting blue hedgehog of video game fame – had an unusually bumpy journey on his way to the big screen. The first trailer for his live action debut, featuring a skinny CGI Sonic with creepy human teeth, was met with more horror than excitement, so the filmmakers went back to the drawing board to create a more pleasing-to-the-eye version of the spiky-haired speedy mammal.
Happily the finished movie – with the new, improved (and slightly cute) Sonic – is better than everyone expected and, while not exactly great, bound to entertain youngest members of the audience, at least.
After escaping bad guys on his home planet who wanted to use Sonic’s power of speed. our blue hero was sent by a wise owl to Earth with a bag of magic rings that can open gateways to other worlds. Hiding out near the town of Green Hills, he spies on sheriff Tom (Marsden) and his wife (Tika Sumpter) and imagines being part of their lives.
When he accidentally creates enough blue energy to knock out power across a few states, the Pentagon recruits scientist Dr Robotnik (Carrey) to find Sonic, and Sonic in turn reveals himself to Tom, needing his help to retrieve the rings he needs to escape.
While he doesn’t have the adorable charm of Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu, Sonic the hedgehog is nonetheless enjoyable thanks to the improved animation and also the voice casting of an amusing Schwarz. He’ll appeal to little kids, who will also laugh at the mad Robotnik while parents will no doubt raise an eyebrow at Carrey delivering the bonkers schtick he was famous for back in the nineties in movies like The Mask and Ace Ventura.
The plot itself will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been to the cinema before – think ET meets Mac And Me crossed with Short Circuit and the more recent Home – and there are some scenes that will be familiar to older kids, too (when Sonic is superfast, everything slows down just like Quicksilver in the newer X-Men movies.
So it’s not very original, but it’s a colourful diversion for families and thankfully a lot better than everyone thought it would be. Phew.
Is Sonic The Hedgehog suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The movie does featuring a fight in a dive bar and a couple of incidences of low level violence.
Very young children may find Dr Robotnik scary.
There is some mildly rude bumour and language.
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