Sonic the Hedgehog, directed by Jeff Fowler, stars James Marsdon, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz as Tom, Eggman, and the titular Sonic. Many know of this movie from the horrific 3D Sonic render used in the movie’s original shots, which garnered the movie all of its publicity. So much publicity that the animators re-rendered every scene with a new design for the character. But does that extra work and energy save this movie’s reputation? Well, it doesn’t make it worse.
Every movie has its merits, so I’ll start with the positives. As mentioned above, the new sonic design looks much more faithful to the original incarnation, and is much easier on the eyes. Jim Carrey’s performance brought a good energy to the movie with jokes that actually made me laugh, which was arguably the best part of this movie. The movie also had references to Sonic’s previous appearances in both obvious and subtle ways, which goes to show that the studio really cared about the film. Unfortunately, that’s about where the good aspects of the movie end, and the mediocre ones begin.
While nothing is particularly bad in this movie–outside of the horrifying flossing scene–everything else falls into the realm of mediocrity. The acting is as middle of the road as you can get. Mardson does a decent job, but nothing about it stands out as either good or bad. Schwartz does a passable job as Sonic, but again, it’s nothing special. Almost everything about this movie fails to leave any impact on the viewer: the story is predictable, the conflict feels forced, the characters are bland–outside of Jim Carrey–and the movie feels overly simple, if not entertaining, but that’s exactly what it needs to be.
At the end of the day, Sonic the Hedgehog is a children’s movie and it caters to them perfectly. The movie saves itself from negative reviews because it knows what it is, and it embraces it. The movie doesn’t try to be groundbreaking, or fresh, or even very good, because it doesn’t need to be. It’s a simple movie that viewers shouldn’t bother seeing unless they’re under 12, or a die-hard fan of the Sonic franchise. At its best, the movie deserves a 5/10.