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#TAPReviews | “Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Review

Sonic The Hedgehog goes fast. But how does the narrative go?

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When Paramount released the first-first trailer for the blue blur ball of fire that is Sonic, the curses mounted quickly in the comments. And understandably too. The movie trailer boasted a CGI monstrosity of the iconic Sonic which resembled a merger between Sonic and a human being in a The Fly-like experiment gone horribly worse. So after returning to the drawing board, and pushing back the release date a few months, the team returned with the Sonic movie revamped. But was it only the CGI that was flawed? We wrote a review. So find out.

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

“Gotta go fast”

-Sonic (or vfx artist of now defunct studio MPC Vancouver)
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Sonic is on the run. As is expected. And the speedster is being hunted for the power of his rings. Which has a lot of LOTR lore come to think about it. The rings allow him to teleport through dimensions to new worlds, and with every new world comes its dangers. He has to remain uncovered as his choice of safe worlds have been narrowed down to Earth and a mushroom planet that stinks. A dig at Mario? Who knows. Nevertheless, Sonic’s restlessness and carelessness soon gets him discovered by the government and their top science nutjob – Dr. Robotnik.

Enlisting the help of a small-town cop, Sonic embarks journey in a hairball-scheme to retrieve his magic teleportation rings he unwittingly dropped in a portal leading to San Francisco. The plan is to leave for the only safe haven left, but will it be enough to get away from Robotnik?

New Design, who dis?

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If I am not the first to say it, then it’s going to sound like I am just repeating what everyone else has been screaming. The redesign of Sonic needed to happen. A part of me honestly feels the first trailer was some form of rage marketing to get people frenzied about the butchering of their childhood-beloved character. But the better part recognises the slight uncomfortable rigidness of Sonic in some scenes. Not to be outdone by some of the acting, however. More on that for sure.

I am also very much still puzzled as to who signed off on the first Sonic design? To what end?

What is however, the greater takeaway from the redesign is undoubtedly the fact that fan rage redirected the trajectory of a hollywood movie. Public opinion sent movie execs running back to the drawing board. And while this would and should feel like a victory, I assure you it is not. As it sets a very dangerous precedent for future movies if this modus operati is universally adopted and applied as a possible scenario to the making of a movie.

Fans, for the most part, are fickle. What may be great today could turn out to be a dud ten years from now. The fact that Paramount let fans steer the ship for a brief moment is, well, paramount to giving the baby the wheel to drive. And not the baby Jesus kind. Granted it kinda worked out this time, but imagine if Warner gave the fans the wheel when they first saw and ridiculed Tom Hardy’s Bane in Dark Knight Rises? Or some other exec decides to satisfy the knee-jerk whim of a so-called majority? Self-serving fandom could, and will, rob us of potentially great cinematic moments. All very slippery-slope territory.

Humor Tumors

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And quirky little jokes that may have elicited a snicker from you in the trailer will be greatly relieved that you got all the movies entire funniest moments for free. In the cinema, you will not get anything new to add to your delight. Even the great Jim Carrey felt under-utilised in his role as Eggman.

Much had to do with not only the jokes and their delivery, but also the editing. Some scenes hung on for a few beats too long; a punchier edit would have brought more to particular scenes like our first introduction to Robotnik and his first interaction with James Marsden’s character Tom Wachowski.

Emotional EMPs

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Sonic seems to hiding all sorts of tricks up his sleeve… glove… glove sleeve? Glove sleeve. The first instance that got the US government hot on Sonic’s trails when he was hiding out was during a stressful moment of realising he no longer had a friend in the world and was truly alone in a strange world. The result: the little ball of energy creates an electric EMP-esque charge that knocks out electricity citywide.

The second time we see this EMP charge is when he comes to realise that Tom Wachowski is leaving his home town to take on policing in a new city. Sonic becomes emotionally overwhelmed. Which all seemed forced. Sonic only knew him from a distance before this point. So to suddenly be so invested in Tom’s career move and abandoning his hometown was a bit much. But hey, let’s move the story along.

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Sonic was watchable. He looked like Sonic, felt like Sonic, hell, spoke like what we imagined Sonic would sound like in real life. Sonic, however, was not fun. Even with the references to SAAANIC and the Flash comics.

Every joke that could have nudged the laugh-o-meter exists in the trailer and gags and scenarios are moderate at best. While no one was expecting some emotionally charged action masterpiece, the movie could have gone further to balance the comedy and the emotion with a huge injection of vivacity all around.

Now that they got the look of Sonic right, they should have taken more time to get his soul right.

#TAPReviews | “Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Review
3.4 Reviewer
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Pros
  • Robotnik and Sonic look the part
  • Super good call on the redesign
Cons
  • Not as fun as it could be
  • Poor pacing
  • An underused Jim Carrey
  • Some poorly acted scenes and dialogue
Summary
Sonic looks the part thanks to the redesign. However, the pace and soul of the beloved blue speedster is noticeably lacking
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