In the plot twist of the century, the Sonic Movie turned out to actually be pretty good. What once took the internet by storm as a nightmarish abomination sent from hell to herald the end of all life, in the end, was an above average, dare I say, good movie. As far as video game adaptation movies go, I might even hazard to say it was great. I mean, if what we’re comparing it to here is the Mario movie and the Double Dragon movie from the 90s, Sonic is among the best video game movies of all time.
This is a truly bittersweet moment for me, as I had hoped that the bizarre, heinous mashup of Gangsta’s Paradise, uncanny valley Sonic and child abduction jokes was going to deliver us the so-bad-it’s-good movie of the century. Unfortunately, the folks over at Paramount decided they didn’t want to make the ironic best movie of the year, but take a stab at making a movie that was actually entertaining. The final version of Sonic actually looks very good, in case you were wondering. Lots of personality and super cute.
The plot is fairly standard. This movie is no Citizen Kane. But Sonic’s personality shines through, it does decent justice to its source material, the relationship between James Marsden and Sonic has chemistry, and it’s a fun ride on screen. It even has a fair amount of heart. Without giving away any spoilers, the central conflict is that Sonic is lonely and wants to be able to be himself and have friends. That premise gives the movie an emotional backbone that makes the whole thing work.
It’s also quite funny. Not funny in a way where you’ll actually laugh out loud, but funny in the way where you’ll be cheering on the main character’s likability, relatability and carefree attitude.
I’m not surprised to see this movie pulling in a very middling 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, but honestly, I think the critics are not the target audience. If you’re a kid or a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog, I think you’re in for a real treat. The plot provides the simplistic, heartfelt fun necessary to entertain a kid in the same vein as the original Jumanji, while Sonic himself provides the nostalgia and true-to-form onscreen depiction to entertain fans of the franchise.
Actually, the closest comparison I can come up with is to the original Jumanji, which I saw in 3rd grade. The emotional response that this movie recalls, while not quite as good, is similar in form to what the original Jumanji conjures up.
If you’re a kid or a Sonic fan, I think you’ll like it quite a bit. If you’re an adult movie critic who has no attachment to Sonic, you’ll see a serviceable but forgettable kid’s movie.
That about covers it for the Sonic Movie review. Be sure to stop by the Movies and TV Section for more reviews and recommendations.