February 21, 2020

Spoiler-free ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Review: I cried 4 times

The Sonic games have always had a special place in my heart. I grew up playing them (and admittedly was not very good) and, even now in the not-so-great phase that Sega seems to be having ever since the infamous Sonic ‘06, I’ve never stopped following that chili-cheese-dog-loving creature everywhere.  

When the movie was first announced, my first emotion was excitement, shortly followed by fear. With the recent rise of video game based watchable entertainment (Detective Pikachu and The Witcher, for example), it seemed like Sega was just jumping on that cash cow.

And when I saw the original trailer, I was even more scared. 

When the trailer was first released, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) looked a little rough—and by a little rough, I mean kind of like he was a stuffed animal that had been run through a washing machine. 

Long story short, he ended up being redesigned after masses of fans were upset, and my faith was restored (though I still feel so bad for all of the employees who had to re-do their work).

The photo on the left was the original design created for Sonic. The one on the right is what the team ended up with. Photo courtesy of The Wrap.

Overall, I thought the movie was incredible. Even following Detective Pikachu, which was a fantastic movie targeting the same audience, Sonic the Hedgehog was a hit for me.

The movie opened with a beautiful 3D rendition of the legendary Green Hill Zone (and, if you were wondering, that was the first time I cried). 

Shortly after that, the plot of the movie ensued, with Sonic needing to leave his home to travel to different worlds in search of safety. We see him in the small town of Green Hills, where he’s been living in a cave low-key nicer than my apartment for a couple of years. 

The Sonic franchise has been around since 1991. Photo courtesy of Slash Film.

The movie got a little deep at times, which I wasn’t exactly expecting, but am not exactly mad about. Sonic is constantly surrounded by people while trying to hide his alien self,—watching movies through their windows, sneaking under bleachers during baseball games—but he feels utterly alone. He even makes a bucket list and includes making a real friend on it (another time I cried). 

In a slump one night, Sonic’s electricity surges, and he causes a blackout. 

Following that is when the madness ensues: Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) appears and Tom (James Marsden) discovers Sonic, and the shenanigans go wild (shenanigans include running from the authorities and even starting a bar fight).

Jim Carrey played Dr. Robotnik, also known as Eggman, in Sonic the Hedgehog. Photo courtesy of SuperHeroHype.

Carrey’s performance as Robotnik was one of the best parts of the film. 

It’s easy to tell that he genuinely had a good time with the role, and that made it so much more enjoyable to watch. He took the ridiculousness of the “psychological tire fire” that was the tech-y government scientist and ran with it.

On a couple of occasions, I did have to remind myself that it is a film geared towards a younger audience. 

As someone who watches a lot of horror films, watching something so colorful and energetic was something I haven’t done in awhile, which was refreshing, but also strange. 

There were some cheesy moments, like when Sonic started doing a Fortnite dance, and there were some tiny plot holes, but nothing to go up in arms about. The sheer innocence of the film was something I can associate with the Sonic franchise in general: it’s always about having fun. 

It was a film about friendship and freedom.

The ending left me satisfied, and the credits were incredible: retro Sonic levels were old-school animated with references to the film. 

What I truly wasn’t expecting was the Marvel-esque post-credits scene, which I won’t divulge any information on (since this is a spoiler-free review)—just know that it exists, and it’s crazy.Overall, as a long-time, die-hard Sonic fan, I loved the movie. It was fun, exciting, and everything I had hoped it would be.

Feature photo courtesy of Games Radar.

  • Sydney is the managing editor at the Chimes and a senior professional writing and journalism major at Capital University pursuing a career arts and entertainment writing. Some of her favorite things are cold brew, books about dragons, horror films, and her cat, Sterling.

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