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Awesome VG Adaptations: Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

On 11/30/2021 at 10:53 AM by The Last Ninja

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We’re ending this series with one that might be a bit controversial. Plenty of people think that the Sonic movie is simply decent, and some think it’s another mediocre video game movie. I think it’s excellent, so let me (once again) try to persuade you that this is one of the very best live action video game movies. The reason why this movie is so great is not the story (which is cliche), but rather, it’s the characters—two in particular: Sonic and Eggman. 

First, Sonic is done very well here. He’s young, naive, and has no clue how the real world works. But he learns quickly as he watches people and learns about things such as baseball, policemen, and donuts. His speed is also used in very clever ways, sometimes leading to hijinks, and at other times simply showing us Sonic’s fun-loving nature. This is a simple fish-out-of-water story, and yet it works well here as we see Sonic’s world at the very beginning of the movie and therefore understand his struggle to learn how the human world works. Sonic’s optimism also makes him very likable, enhanced by Ben Schwartz’s excellent voice work of the hedgehog. 

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A big part of Sonic’s character is that he’s alone. He doesn’t have any friends and he desperately wants some. This desire is seen when Sonic zips around his home so fast that he’s talking to himself as different characters (also playing baseball with himself as different characters). This is why it makes sense why Sonic takes such a liking to Tom (played by James Marsden). Sonic wants Tom to be his best friend, but Tom is planning to move to San Francisco—this is where the conflict comes in. While this conflict can seem forced at times, it mostly works very well for this simple story. By the end, Sonic and Tom have both realized that they are meant to be friends. 

Second, Eggman is a great character here. The movie actually fleshes out his character far more than any of the games. His name is Dr. Robotnik (Sonic nicknames him Eggman because of his egg-shaped drones). He has an obsession with technology, stating that machines always do what they’re told. As he learns about Sonic, he quickly becomes obsessed with finding him and exploiting his powers. He’s also arrogant, cutting down anyone who gets in his way. While often hilarious, Eggman can also be intimidating and creepy (and all of it works because Jim Carrey masterfully falls into the role). 

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I have to commend this movie for not over-stuffing it with as much Sonic stuff as possible. Apart from Sonic’s world at the very beginning, Sonic and Eggman are the only characters seen in the movie (although Tails pops up in a post-credits scene). However, there are plenty of Easter eggs that fans will pick up on throughout the movie. The movie seems content to simply set up Sonic and Eggman’s rivalry, hinting at a more fleshed out Sonic movie for the sequel (with Tails, Knuckles, and Eggman looking a lot more like he does in the games). Some might not like this, but it works very well for what the movie wants to be. 

The action scenes are also pretty good. Sonic’s speed is played up for laughs on multiple occasions—the standout being the bar scene (which I know is a rip-off of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it’s still really fun). Thanks to Eggman’s machines and drones, we get to see Sonic take out stuff with explosions ensuing, and it’s a lot of fun. Sonic’s redesign is perhaps a huge factor in this movie being as good as it is—just imagine having to watch the movie with that original cringey Sonic design! It would have been horrible. It’s very commendable that the team decided to push the movie’s release back several months in order to fix Sonic. 

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The movie also does a good job of showing us how powerful Sonic is. We see the entire city lose power when he overcharges himself, and we also see how powerful just one quill can be when Eggman uses it. The climax is very satisfying as Sonic uses his awesome powers to completely demolish Eggman’s ship and send him into a mushroom world. It’s so epic! And that’s what’s so impressive with this movie: it’s a fun, self-contained movie that establishes both Sonic and Eggman but then it also successfully sets up the sequel. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what they do with the next movie. So I have to admit, this is the one of the best live action video game movies ever made—and I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

Purchase the Sonic movie here

Stay tuned for the worst video game movies (in one post, not a series) 




12/01/2021 at 06:28 PM

I almost saw this movie because Jim Carrey was in it. 

The Last Ninja

12/02/2021 at 10:49 AM

What's this "almost"? You should see it--Jim Carrey is really great in this role. 

Cary Woodham

12/02/2021 at 07:06 AM

I didn't like this movie that much, but then, I'm not a big Sonic fan anyway.  I liked who showed up in the ending, though!  The Sonic movie was the last movie I saw in a theater before the pandemic hit, and I didn't see another movie in a theater until my recent viewing of Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The Last Ninja

12/02/2021 at 10:52 AM

I'm not a huge Sonic fan either, but I was really surprised by this movie. Since Tails will have a much more prominent role in the sequel, you might enjoy that one more. I'm hoping it will be good too. 

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