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Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog
The 2020 big screen re-imagining of Sonic the Hedgehog has a few things going for it, such as some spectacular production values, but fails to hold interest due to a predictable and, at times, downright schmaltzy story.

For those who are unfamiliar with Seneca video game which was the genesis of the tile character, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is an alien version of the earth rodent who has been banished from his home planet and now resides in a small town called Green Hills, Montana, where he befriends a young police officer (James Marsden) who agrees to help Sonic get to San Francisco, where the magic rings that were given to him before he arrived on earth have gone to, after our hero caused a blackout in Green Hills, that not only earns attention from the government, but from an alien evil genius (Jim Carrey) who wants to take Sonic back to his planet so that he can perform experiments on him.

After the video game, Sonic became an animated television series that premiered in 1993 with Jaleel White voicing the title character and this film might hold more appeal for fans of that series, but I just don't get the appeal here...sometimes this character is dumb as a box of rocks one scene and the smartest character in the movie the next. He seems to have some knowledge of 2020 pop culture and other scenes he doesn't. He refers to Marsden's character as "Donut Lord:" because he's a cop and that joke gets very old very quickly. The most annoying aspect of the charatcer is the fact that he NEVER stops talking, This is the first alleged superhero I have ever encountered that I just wanted to stuff a sock in his mouth.

The story starts off predictably enough with Sonic and Marsden hitting the road to San Francisco with Carrey's evil robot lord hot on their tail. It's hard to accept the fact that Marsden and Sonic are traveling in an SVU and this evil genius has limitless technology at his fingertips and for some, reason, can't get his hand on the hedgehog, and not just because he is able to run 300 MPH, which seems to be his only real superpower, other than the ability to freeze action and adjust things to his advantage...hell Zack Morris could do that on Saved by the Bell, why should it be such a big deal here? And the scene where Sonic tears up a western bar is something out of a 70's Clint Eastwood movie.

Every penny of the film's humongous $85,000,000 budget is up there on the screen, but it doesn't help to hide the fact that there's just not much going on here. It's not often I've found myself checking my watch during an hour-40 minute movie. Carrey really chews up the scenery though and I also loved Adam Pally as Marsden's contemporary Barney Fife and Frank C. Turner as Crazy Carl, but this one was a big disappointment. The film also concludes with the most obvious set-up for a sequel I have ever seen. Fans of the series and of the video game might enjoy it more than I did.