+++ Opinion +++
Everything looked like it was going to be a catastrophe: not only that video game adaptations generally have a meager success cut, how good can a film be that disfigures the iconic main character from the template so much? The first trailer for “Sonic The Hedgehog” showed the turbo-fast spiny animal as an elongated something with irritating eyes and an almost frighteningly grotesque chewing bar. The fans went wild – and the studio responsible panicked.
The Sega adaptation was delayed so that “Ugly Sonic” could be kicked out of the film and replaced with a digital animal that bears far more resemblance to the cheeky but super-cute video game hero. As troubling as it would be should such fan influence become commonplace, in this case it was a blessing that those responsible addressed the complaints. You can experience how surprisingly handsome “Sonic The Hedgehog” turned out today, September 17, 2022, from 8:15 p.m. on Sat.1.
The lightning-fast blue hedgehog Sonic (voice in the original: Ben Schwartz, in the German version: Julien Bam) could lead a carefree life. But lately, malicious pursuers are after him. Sonic manages to escape to earth, but here too, baddies are hot on his heels – above all the insane Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). At least Sonic finds friends in small-town cop Tom (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) to help him stand his ground against Robotnik…
Sometimes a weak element is enough to bring down the whole house of cards: the Sonic design used in the first trailer is so aggressive and chilling that it would only work in a darkly grim take on the plot (or in a lovingly cheeky parody ). But a light-hearted family comedy? No, Sonic has to be a big-eyed cuddly angel for that!
and since fortunately this cute Sonic was leveraged into the film, “Sonic The Hedgehog” has become a pleasant weekend relaxation cinema. The parallels to the foundations of the video game series are quantitatively manageable, since the “animated character takes an adventurous road trip with his human co-star” story of this comedy could also work with numerous other characters. But at least Worm Miller, Patrick Casey and Oren Uziel capture Sonic’s bright, pert wit in their script and translate it into a rapid fire of funky dialogue.
Thanks to the expressively cute, cartoon-like animation and the energetic voice performance of improv comedy genius Ben Schwartz (in the original) and YouTube multi-talent Julien Bam (in dubbing), Film-Sonic becomes a charismatic, smart title character. And that’s half the battle in this chaotic mix of sci-fi, fantasy and family comedy.
Jim Carrey as a dumb, dogged villain under a caffeine shock and a James Marsden who, with charisma throughout, maintains the illusion that there is a small-town cop befriending a talking hedgehog from one dimension further enhance the film. That can’t hide the arbitrariness of the story or the fact that the threat, which is claimed to be urgent, is never seriously felt.
But the friendly-amusing tone that director Jeff Fowler maintains throughout the film means the constant pop-culture references come as a surprise as lively cross-references. And while the action sets aren’t exciting, they’re fun in a variety of ways – sometimes because they spoof other blockbusters, sometimes because they wittily demonstrate Sonic’s optimism, sometimes because they pointedly flaunt his powers. “Sonic The Hedgehog” is not a movie fun that will be remembered for a long time. but this fast-paced comedy definitely knows how to sweeten a movie night.