Sonic the Hedgehog – the Curse is Finally Broken!


A Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) poster featuring main characters Sonic and Robotnik. Photo courtesy of IMDb.

Avery Seldin, Staff Writer

After the success of the 2019 blockbuster, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, many were left eagerly waiting for the next big video game-inspired movie, seeing as the live-action/CGI films had a significant momentum building. However, many’s excitement quickly turned to fear when the eponymous Sonic the Hedgehog film was announced. Those fears were only amplified at the reveal of Sonic’s original design, which many found to be an animation abomination. The backlash was near universal. However, in a move that stunned many, entertainment enterprises Sega and Paramount revealed that they would delay the movie’s release in order to give Sonic a redesign. Once that was publicized, many fans decided to give the movie a chance. How does it stack up? Let’s find out.

A side-by-side comparison of Sonic’s animation before and after its reworking. Photo courtesy of CNN.

The 2020 film follows everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, Sonic, as he traverses unknown territory: planet Earth. After being forced to leave his home planet in order to avoid being captured, Sonic has been hiding out in the town of Green Hills, Montana. No one knows he exists other than the local town kook. Sonic claims he has been living a great life on Earth; however, in truth, he is incredibly lonely. When this loneliness gets to him, he ends up accidentally causing a blackout across the Pacific Northwest, a mishap that results in the American army turning to Dr. Robotnik to hunt Sonic down. Before Sonic can get away, local town police officer/donut lord Tom Wachowski shoots him with a dart gun, causing him to lose his teleporter rings. This leaves Tom and Sonic on a mission to get to San Francisco before Robotnik captures Sonic.

Like all video game-inspired movies, this movie isn’t perfect. Beyond Sonic and Robotnik, the other characters are somewhat bland. A few jokes completely miss their mark, such as the infamous “child in a bag” scene, during which Tom is forced to hide Sonic in a bag. This causes people to ask if there is a child in the bag. Tom replies that it is a child, but not his child. The CGI, while mostly really great, has some shading problems. The story is also incredibly cliché. It is every 90s buddy-cop/human and alien friendship-movie with very little to make it interesting.

From someone who is a long-time fan of the Sonic series, this movie was definitely a blast. Sonic is as loveable as ever and I enjoyed the new angle they took with his character. He’s cocky and is quite the motormouth, but he also struggles with being alone, his abandonment issues quite obvious. Despite being somewhat dull, Tom serves his purpose well. He slowly gets to learn just why Sonic is the way he is and why he [Sonic] views him [Tom] so highly. Also, the movie gets major props for not falling into the “human lead’s love interest ditches them because of weird creature/alien” cliché. Tom’s wife, Maddie, does take a bit of time to adjust to Sonic, but she never doubts Tom for a second. It was a major breath of fresh air. As for the jokes that did work, they worked great and often had me laughing. The action scenes are well-done, with a special mention to Sonic and Robotnik’s battle across the world. Speaking of Robotnik, Jim Carrey steals the show in this role. He is so over-the-top and crazy, but could also be genuinely threatening when the time calls for it. Despite being rather cliché, the movie was able to play with both main tropes on display (buddy cop and human/alien friendship) and fuse them in a way that really made them work.

If Pokemon: Detective Pikachu showed the world that video game adaptations could be good, Sonic the Hedgehog showed that they could be great. This movie isn’t perfect and I won’t pretend it is, but it tells a story that works and makes you excited for more. Speaking of that, the movie ends on a sequel hook that promises more to come. And with how well this movie is doing, you can bet I will be going at sonic speeds to see whatever comes next.

Final rating: 4.5/5