DIRECTOR: JEFF FOWLER / SCREENPLAY: PAT CASEY, JOSH MILLER / STARRING: BEN SCHWARTZ, JIM CARREY, JAMES MARSDEN, TIKA SUMPTER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Based on the global smash hit 90s video game of the same name, everyone's favourite furry little blue devil makes his big-screen debut in Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog.
Video game movies haven't always had the best track record - and, especially after the first trailer debacle last year over the original design of the titular speed demon, audiences were expecting the worst for Sonic. However, we are pleased to report that Sonic is arguably the best video game movie adaptation to date!
The story kicks off with an incredibly adorable baby sonic playfully speeding his way through his homeworld (which expertly resembles Green Hill Zone from the source material and is accompanied by the wonderful theme of Sonic Mania) before danger approaches and he is thrust through a ring portal to earth in order to keep him safe. Ten years later and Sonic has made himself at home in the town of Green Hills (see what they did there) without anyone, apart from the town's resident conspiracy theorist aware of his existence. After he mistakenly makes the world aware of him, Dr Robotnik (Carrey) is sent by the government to track him down - along with his new friend Tom (Marsden); dubbed Donut Lord by Sonic, the two unlikely allies must band together to fend off evil.
When adapting something as beloved as a video game, one must pay close attention to the little details in order to please fans of said series whilst also creating something that can entice new people to the franchise - and Director Jeff Fowler has done exactly that; from Sonic's witty quips and catchphrases to easter eggs aplenty including the iconic ring sound effect, this movie is truly made by fans of the cherished hedgehog. Sonic's (re)design is absolutely fantastic; he truly evokes the classic feel and the talented animators that accomplished this rework in a quick turnaround should definitely be applauded for their hard work.
Accompanying this is Ben Schwartz superb voice performance as our hero. Even though Marsden was acting alongside a CG character, their chemistry is most certainly there and bridges the human-CG gap perfectly. Rounding off the great portrayals is the living legend Jim Carrey as Dr Robotnik - Carrey was absolutely the perfect choice for the antagonist of the piece as was able to recapture his glory days of the 90s with a hilarious and eccentric presentation and stole every scene he was in.
For the majority of the film, the jokes and, at times, obvious pop culture references landed with great effect thanks to the acting - however, not everything was as plain sailing. At various points, the product placement was painstakingly obvious that you couldn't help but roll your eyes but this can be easily forgiven due to the fact that the rest of the film is so gosh darn enjoyable giving you no choice but to smile. The resolve to the narrative is also extremely satisfying that allows it to work as a solo piece but leaves enough of a hint that, should it do well commercially, there is plenty of room and potential for a larger cinematic universe or, at least, a sequel - and we would absolutely love that to be the case!
After a rocky production initially, the team behind the big screen debut Sonic the Hedgehog have crafted a wonderful smile-inducing 90-minute nostalgia trip that is equally entertaining for kids and adults alike.
Expected Rating: 6 out of 10