A live adaptation of the Sonic The Hedgehog game is finally coming to fruition. Since being announced by Sony on June 10th, 2014, fans have been waiting with bated breath for what would surely be a cinematic classic akin to the Super Mario Bros. movie. But after delays and Paramount Pictures acquiring the rights in 2017, it seemed the Sonic movie would fall into development hell along with a plethora of video game movies that will never see the light of day.
Now it’s a reality. I didn’t believe it would happen. Not after the cast was announced in May of last year. Not after the teaser posters and character design leaks. But today, on April 30th, 2019, with the release of the official Sonic The Hedgehog trailer, I believe.
The trailer starts on an unknown road somewhere in the town of Green Hills, a nod to the first level of Sonic The Hedgehog. Suddenly a blue blur whizzes by a cop car. The radar gun captures an impressive 760 miles per hour, just 7 miles shy of breaking the sound barrier. Police officer, Tom Wachowski, (played by James Marsden) investigates. Whatever the blur was, it’s long gone — only leaving behind a blue, electrified quill.
After a Return of The Jedi-esque speed through the forest scene, followed by a blue ball dropping into a hidden mountain layer, a white-furred hand sans glove pops in a cassette tape copy of “Gangsta’s Paradise” into a stereo. Then we hear our hero, Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz.
“Gotta go fast.”
The premise of the movie is that Sonic creates an EMP, presumably after breaking the sound barrier, that knocks out power to the entire United States. The military then calls in Dr. Robotnik (played by Jim Carrey) to use his arsenal of robots to capture Sonic.
The movie looks to be the disaster fans were waiting for. Where Detective Pikachu shows us the best case scenario of an animated furry brought to the real world, Sonic shows us a worst case scenario. The blue, CGI hedgehog looks cartoony. Details of his fur are blurry. His eyes and teeth are creepily realistic. His appearance in the real world stands out and looks freakish and never convincing.
Carrey’s performance feels energetic but hammy. He screams at the military saying he’s in charge while voicing his own robotic sounds as he swerves left and right. Maybe Carrey has been reminiscing about his Batman Forever days and wanted to have a performance as equally ridiculous as The Riddler?
The movie looks like it is adapting key gameplay aspects. Sonic moves hyper fast, rolling into a surging ball in an instant to bash away robots. Rings will also play an essential role, transporting people miles away like a wormhole. And the classic sound effects from the Sega Genesis games are also there.
Though it’s easy to throw punches at a first trailer, the movie is still several months away. There is still plenty of time to improve the CGI. Although Carrey is playing the same role he has since the inception of his career, it still could be an enjoyable time. And director Jeff Fowler seems to know the nuances that make the Sonic games enjoyable and is doing his best to make a movie to please the fans.
Sonic The Hedgehog is set to release November 8, 2019.