‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ is Fast & Furry But Not Funny

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It may be damning with faint praise, but I can assure you that “Sonic the Hedgehog” is no longer the stuff of nightmares. The-Island-of-Dr-Moreau-like creation which seemed half human half hedgehog in the film’s first trailer, has been replaced by something more akin to the Sonic we know from video games and cartoons. He’s cute. He’s fast. But he’s not particularly funny.

This version of “Sonic the Hedgehog” sports a plot far more complicated than it should be. Sonic is now an alien orphan hiding out on earth from no-good-niks who want to steal his powers … which involve not just super speed, but also a kind of unlimited electrical energy. When Sonic becomes bored with his lonely life in the woods, he accidentally triggers a power surge that blacks out the Pacific Northwest, and blows his cover.

Sonic1
The Title Character in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

He befriends a small town sheriff (James Marsden) as they embark on a leisurely road trip to San Francisco to fetch the magic rings which he needs to escape to another world and away from harm. Along the way they’re pursued by the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) who wants to harness Sonic’s powers for his own nefarious ends.

The film’s various other visual gags and set pieces just kind of exist without making much of an impression. Marsden is genial while acting opposite computer-generated quipsters, but doesn’t actually have much to do. And there’s the obligatory half hearted hackneyed message about friendship tossed in … which is kind of like dousing Cool Whip on a Twinkie.

Carrey gets most of the chuckles and smiles here, but there aren’t that many. He exerts such herculean effort to wring even the mildest of guffaws that you can almost see the flop sweat dripping off the screen. And the one liners and quips he has to deliver mostly fall flat with a thud, making even Carrey’s lesser earlier efforts such as “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” or “Fun With Dick & Jane” look like gut-busting romps by comparison. I saw this film with my 7-year-old twins, and my daughter’s loudest laugh involved Sonic getting poked with a spatula in the kitchen.

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Jim Carrey in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

“Sonic The Hedgehog” doesn’t try to be good, it’s trying to be forgettable, and succeeds. When you consider the nightmare inducing disaster it almost was, that could be considered an improvement. Almost.


“Sonic the Hedgehog” opens everywhere on February 14th. Featuring James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz. Written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller. Directed by Jeff Fowler. Rated “PG

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2020 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

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