I’m not going to lie – going into the theater, I did not have high hopes for this movie. Neither did my 10 year old. The five year old, however, couldn’t be more excited. Sonic the Hedgehog is no longer just a video game character from my old Sega Genesis, it’s now a comic book, a TV show, and also sometimes, a video game (the five year old knows Sonic from “Sonic Dash” on his iPad). But we walked into the theater to see the Sonic Movie with a giant bucket of popcorn and hoped for the best.
This movie brings Sonic the Hedgehog to small-town America, where he is living on the outside, watching people and trying to be one of them. While playing baseball, by himself, he triggers a massive explosion that catches the attention of the US Government, who sends in Dr. Robotnik (played by Jim Carrey). He pursues Sonic and a small-town sheriff to San Francisco, and along the way, the sheriff and Sonic become friends.
The plot is predictable. The jokes are simple. And on its face, this movie should be as bad as I feared it would be. Except that it isn’t. Jim Carrey brings his physical style into the role and makes it special. James Marsden (Tom Wachowski, the sheriff) and Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski, a veterinarian and Tom’s wife) have good chemistry. So too do Marsden and Ben Schwartz, who voices Sonic. The CGI animation of Sonic is excellent and you find yourself connecting with him. It has a little spark that makes it more than it seems. And even though this is definitely not a movie that kids and adults will both enjoy equally (it lacks a lot of the adult in-jokes that have made other kids movies so popular with parents), whichever parent gets stuck taking everyone to the movie will be okay.
And as for the kids? They were very happy to be there. The five year old enjoyed the movie and the 10 year old had fun as well, even though she thought she wouldn’t. Throughout the movie theater, you heard laughter from the kids and there was plenty of action with very little downtime. The movie is not too scary and, while there is violence (a bar fight, bullets and rockets), it is handled comically and there is no blood.
Don’t look for the Sonic Movie to win awards any time soon. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking the kids for a fun afternoon at the movies.
FYI: There are mid-credit scenes so don’t leave the theater too quickly.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Opens Friday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day)