In what could only be a dead-of-winter miracle in the Upside Down, I just saw an inspired-by a video game movie that wasn’t absolutely terrible. There is nothing about “Sonic the Hedgehog” that seems like it will be watchable, much less actually good, but I’ve been proven wrong by this lively, wacky, and campy family film. There’s oodles of fun to be had here by both adults and kids.
This live action adventure comedy is based on the blockbuster SEGA game that centers around a speedy bright blue hedgehog named Sonic. Basing a movie on a flimsy gaming character will be ill-advised at least 95% of the time, but this movie finds the ideal balance between a lively (if basic) original story and well-placed Easter eggs for fans. Here, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) has a series of misadventures on Earth with his newfound human friend Tom (James Marsden), a small-town police officer. The two have to work together to stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from capturing Sonic for his evil experiments.
The themes of friendship and loneliness are at play, and the cast does a great job keeping things fun. Marsden is ridiculously likable and goofy as an everyman, and Schwartz brings an empathy that carries the majority of the film with his voice performance. Best of all is Carrey, hamming it up with a manic stamina that’ll remind you why you always loved him in the first place.
There are plenty of action scenes and rude humor (and a couple of strange, over-the-top scenes that read as advertisements for Olive Garden), which are all entertaining enough to recommend “Sonic” for a fun family night out at the movies.