Paramount and Sega delivers a Sonic love letter to its fans.

Back in April the first trailer of the Sonic Movie was released. Not sure anyone needed this movie in the first place, fans across the world...

Back in April the first trailer of the Sonic Movie was released. Not sure anyone needed this movie in the first place, fans across the world were horrified by what they saw. Not only was the little blue guy an alien now but his design was outright dreadful and had nothing to do with the original character people grew up with. Barely resembling the blue hedgehog known from the many games or cartoons.
The backlash was enormous and forced the Paramount to delay the movie by months in order to redesign the hyper speedy rodent. 
A sigh of relief was brought to many when the new trailer was launched together with a new date for the movie, but many were still very skeptical. Sure Jim Carrey seemed to be having fun in his role, but since so little care was given to the design in the first place, who was to be sure the rest of the movie was not treated the same way?

Well, this weekend was the big release date and those worries have been mostly washed away. And what we got was a great family/kids movies that takes care delivering to old and new fans alike. 

The movie opens with a quick look at the Sonic game and many of the other great Sega classics of the Genesis/Megadrive era before hearing the SEGA choir and leads into Sonic being chased by Dr. Robotnik in his flying machine. This leads into Sonic explaining what is going on and bringing us to the very beginning of his origins. This is where some lore has been changed, or rather added because really there was not that much of a story line other then Eggman/Robotnik turning cure forest creatures into evil robots. In this story Sonic was raised by a wise owl , who told him to keep his powers of ultra speed a secret because as it turns out evil doers will always want to use it for bad things. Gifted with a bag of magical rings that act as portals to other worlds the movie offers a great tie in to the rings in the game and making it work in the narrative. So in a way , yes Sonic is an alien, or at least from another dimension, but still a hedgehog. It works for the story and takes something that would be very awkward and brings it to our earthly realm.

As you can see in the trailer Sonic glitches out somehow and alerts the US government of his presence in small town Green Hills Oklahoma where he has spends the last few years observing the towns inhabitants and living among them without them ever knowing. Unsure of what they are facing the military leaders of the country decide to send Dr.Robotnik on the case, played by the legendary Jim Carrey who seemed to have had a lot of joy with the character. If everything was written and directed as we seen on screen it is impressive as it often seemed it was classic Carrey just taking the script and started chewing the scenery every time he was on camera. It was a pleasant sight to see and I am glad he ran with it, as it would have been easy to take the check and phone it in. Not only did Mr. Carrey make the evil Dr. seem like a crazed lunatic, he also brought some menace with him that made him a formidable adversary and not just a dumb klutz. Were it not for this being a family movie and Sonic being the star, you might think he could actually pull this off and win. 
With Sonic about to lose it all he and the towns Sherrif Tom Wachowski , played by James Marsden, go on a road trip adventure to find Sonics magical rings so he can escape to a new planet far away from evil.

James Marsden did good work convincing us all his CGI counterpart was really there. Off course he has had some experience in that with other movies such as HOP and it pays off to have someone skilled enough selling the fantasy. But Sonic himself was also a big star and focal point of the movie. Greatly voice acted by Ben Schwartz the CGi character expresses a range of emotions that involved a lot of head on camera angles focused on those big eyes. It made the original design choice even more strange because I am not so sure anyone would have been comfortable with or have empathy for the hedgehog if he had still sported the weird skin and teeth we saw before. The choice to bring back the more cartoon looking design was definitely the right one. It is therefore sad to hear that the studio that fixed it all and averted disaster has been closed.

Is the movie perfect? Perhaps not, some people might point to other movies that have done better in the CGI department or had more heart , such as the recent Detective Pikachu movie. Overall this is a light affair, that is a little predictable but works well with the kids and has laughs for the adults. However we all loved it and it is clear that the creators are true fans of the franchise, the movie has a bunch of Easter eggs and references sprinkled throughout that fans will enjoy seeing and pointing out. I won't spoil them here as they are great to experience them for yourself.  The entire family enjoyed seeing the movie and I hope that it will do good enough to warrant a sequel because if anything I want to see how Dr. Robotnik's genius evolves to the next level by way of Jim Carrey. Secondly, and not less important, because I had an jolly good time. A few after ( really mid) credits scenes seems to indicate they would like to bring us that sequel and particular one surprise had the audience respond in glee. So bring it on Paramount, lets do this. 

Everyone who complained about the design owes it to themselves to make sure they go see this in the theater.  Really go now... you gotta go fast! and make sure that squeal is coming.


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