After ten years of living in hiding on Earth, a supersonic hedgehog named... errr... Sonic is a tad bored, not to mention lonely. But when an over-use of his powers draws the attention of a crazy, moustachioed scientist, Sonic must turn to the local Sheriff for help. Can they get him to safety before the evil moustache... I mean scientist catches up with them?
If you're looking for some way to entertain your children, you can't go far wrong with a hyperactive, blue hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog is a good family film, one that will keep your little ones glued to the screen, and you mildly entertained. The story takes the well established computer game characters and plants them in a generic road trip movie. Sonic is in trouble and he goes to Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) in the hope that he can help. Together they go on a journey of discovery whilst also going on a literal journey to escape Robotnik. This does provide a couple of interesting life lessons for children; seeing things from the point of view of others, that sort of thing.
James Marsden is good as his usual every man, and he does well opposite the CGI Sonic. It's kind of like the family friendly version of "Ted", and the relationship between the living teddy bear and Mark Wahlberg's John Bennet. The little hedgehog will be relatively relatable for the little ones, they should be able to appreciate the lessons he learns along the way. Ben Schwartz does a great job of voicing the little, blue guy. Sonic is very childlike, and as such borders on the annoying at times, but for the most part he's quite fun. Unfortunately the same can not be said of the villain. Jim Carrey goes way too over the top with Robotnik. He seems to be aiming for Ace Ventura/The Mask levels of insanity, but well and truly overshoots, hitting closer to his performance as the Riddler in Batman Forever. That said, he does have a fabulous moustache!
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was of course delayed due to the public's very negative reaction to Sonic's original appearance. Well the developers certainly heard us because the improvements are spot on! Instead of the creepy looking abomination seen in the first trailer, the movie features a Sonic that very closely resembles that of the games (see below). In fact all of the CGI is very good, it has a cartoon-type look to it which fits well with the movie's style. The opening and closing credits made to resemble the classic game's graphics was a nice touch too. There are several colourful and fun action set-pieces throughout that take full advantage of Sonic's abilities, and with explosive effect. Although when I saw this at my local cinema, I noticed that a point in the latter half of the movie in which Sonic is out of commission, resulted in a temporary loss of interest for the younger members of the audience. But they soon settled when Sonic started running again.
It's worth sticking around after the credits roll as there are a couple of mid-credits scenes. They come pretty quick and not only do they set up a sequel, they also feature a much-loved character... and a shocking moustache development, one which was oddly spoiled in the trailer.
A fun but simple story with a fast pace and some very colourful CGI - including a much improved Sonic design - make this a good family movie. The action set pieces are exciting, and the characters are likeable, including Robotnik and his fabulous moustache, even if Carrey is a bit over the top. In other words... your kids are gonna love it.
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