Sonic the Hedgehog movie poster

Sonic the Hedgehog

In theaters February 14, 2020



100 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , ,

Sonic the Hedgehog was not the movie I’d envisioned seeing. I can’t even imagine what makes someone think movies based on video games are a good idea (here I stopped and quickly googled some movies based on video games that I enjoyed, so let’s back away from this thought slowly).

Sonic lives on a planet where he gets to run around like a maniac all day until one day, he can’t. He’s given a bag of gold rings, and thus planet hops until he lands on Earth, where he lives in isolation. He resorts to spying on the neighbors and generally being the lonely guy in a cave that usually takes out a town of innocents because of some imagined threat relayed to him by his box of cereal. It doesn’t happen because it’s a kid’s movie.

Because he’s young and immature – and a talking hedgehog – with impossibly long legs, he expresses his volatile emotions in ways that attract the Government, and they send in the most unlikable guy in the Universe, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to study him and report back. Really, Robotnik is mean-spirited, cruel to his subordinates, and frankly comes off as the kind of guy who gets his coffee peed into on the daily. Just once, show me a villain who’s kind and generous to his/her co-workers, and that’s why they show unquestionable loyalty. Anyway, because of a lack of oversight, Robotnik has other projects in the works, and he can’t wait to get his hands on the blue creature that can make all of his dreams of cartoon villainy come true.

Anyway, Sonic hides out with Sherriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), who has dreams of moving to the big city to become embroiled in corruption and high divorce rates – I mean, become a beat cop and save lives. Sonic loses his bag of rings and needs Tom’s help to not only retrieve his rings to escape to the Dreaded Mushroom Planet but also outrun Robotnik, who wants to dissect him to find the source of his power… as all mad scientists do.

Sonic the Hedgehog is wildly entertaining, and while it will please its target demographic – 10-year olds, and 10-year olds who never grew up – it’s crazy fun for everyone. Small town Tom is relatable, and not in a dumbed-down hick way, and his relationships with his wife, Maggie (Tika Sumpter), who is at odds with her sister (Natasha Rothwell), feel authentic and warm. Tom is a good guy who wants to help people, even if it means wrecking a few cars and outsmarting a government mad genius.

I only had two problems with Sonic the Hedgehog: (1) Jim Carrey, and (2) no way for Sonic to get more rings, which I realize would have taken the road trip aspect off the table, but that was the whole point of the game – to collect rings. I can let the ring part go. Jim Carrey, however, is a problem in any film where he doesn’t have a solid script. He needs text, and he needs a director with the balls to reign him in. Jim Carrey cosplaying Dr. Robotnik on Keto isn’t compelling character development. It’s just Jim Carrey running around in a ridiculous mustache and the lack of writing for his character – I mean you envisioned Sonic bonding with a small-town lawman and his wife (Tika Sumpter) at odds with her relations, but you couldn’t find some plausible plotlines for a misguided genius who uses technology to compensate for his lack of human connection? – feels lazy and pandering to a guy who’s famous for creating a character who once talked out of his butt. Robotonick isn’t so much a mad scientist as a brilliant jerk who compensates for his lack of friends by telling people how stupid they are. That’s not nearly as much fun to watch as someone thinks.

Sonic the Hedgehog is a super fun family movie that the entire family can enjoy. It’s great for kids, and it’s not too scary, and it’s fun for adults because it’s not so kid-centered grown-up brains rot fall out. There are two mid-credit stingers, so don’t leave until you see the Paramount logo – they’re essential and bring the film around to canon. Plus, it is just common courtesy to see all of the names of the talented people who brought you such a fun movie.

Sonic The Hedgehog is rated PG for some super mild swears, spirited fisticuffs, car crashes, and electrocutions.

Sonic the Hedgehog is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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