Monday, February 24, 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog goes too fast and runs out of steam too quickly

I really wanted to like this movie. I enjoyed other video game adaptations (like Angry Birds and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and other movies that mixed CGI and live action characters (like Detective Pikachu and the 2016 remake of Jungle Book). I truly enjoyed playing Sonic as a kid, and I even have two pairs of Sonic socks! And my son used to be the fastest runner in his class and we would call him “Sonic”.

An improvement?
But this movie was not good, people. Not good.

I was impressed that Sega and Paramount listened to fan feedback and changed Sonic’s appearance, and I think it was an improvement. But Sonic’s physical design was a symptom, not the actual problem. Fixing the teeth and the eyes was a good gesture, but there’s an underlying misunderstanding of the character; the real problem is a desire to make Sonic look “real”. And this problem informs every aspect of the production, unfortunately.

What really got me was the story. Every major plot point seemed to be shoehorned into a story to serve the purposes of adapting a video game (with practically no story) into a film (which I guess also had practically no story). Was it a buddy road trip movie? An alien sci-fi movie? A fish out of water movie? A bad guys chasing the good guys movie? The director couldn’t decide, and neither could I.

The rest of the movie needs an overhaul also. I like Jim Carrey -- like, I genuinely think he’s a very good actor, and a really funny comedian. But Carrey was lackluster in this film. He was very one-note (I guess you might appreciate him if you enjoy the “always angry” method of acting), and was doing goofy schtick when it really wasn’t necessary, or frankly even that funny. (Tell me again why he was dancing in that one scene?) I did enjoy some of Dr. Robotnik’s tech, even if the drones were a little Spider-Man: Far From Home-esque.

James Marsden was decent -- likable and charming, he did his job as the straight man. Tika Sumpter was appealing and enjoyable. Adam Pally brought all the best of his quirks, and it’s always fun seeing a Happy Endings alum! But don’t get me started on Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. Jean-Ralphio was annoyingly funny in Parks and Recreation when he was presented in small doses, but giving this loudmouth actor a leading role was a mistake. Schwartz thinks he’s funny, but most of his lines just don’t land. I can’t blame him too much; the subpar writing didn’t help his case much.

But in the end, my 13-year-old son, a huge Sonic fan, really enjoyed the movie. So I guess if you want to see a movie that appeals to 13-year-old video game fans, then this is the movie for you.

Meh, give me Flash or Quicksilver any day.

No comments:

Post a Comment