A Quick Review of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020 Movie)

(Yes, this is the actual movie, not the recently-released movie tie-in special. Review for that comes later.)

Well, I was planning a nice, long, in-depth opinionated review of the Sonic Movie like I’ve done for a few games, where I would staunchly defend the purity of this thoroughly fun experience against the evil critics, professional and amateur alike, who seek to make it a failure. But…apparently the movie is a runaway success? The best-performing videogame movie of all time? So there goes that motivation. Without it, making an in-depth analysis without being able to reference the source material second-for-second as needed…sounds too hard.

So, I’ll keep this extremely brief. This movie was fun. A lot of family movies try to be fun. But in my opinion, this is one of the few that have wildly succeeded. The critics will tell you that it’s a movie for kids, and enjoying it as an adult would be invalid. Well, either they watched the wrong movie, or they just watched it wrong. The entire film is designed to draw you in to Sonic as a character. Is Sonic a child? In this instance, yes. But last I checked, a person being young doesn’t automatically preclude them from being relatable. Quite the opposite, in fact. A child relates to such a character for being like them, and to the success of that, I can’t necessarily speak. But an adult relates to a child character not for being like themselves, but for being what they remember being. Sonic doesn’t just appeal to kids. He makes you feel like a kid. He makes you wonder when you attained the emotional maturity to make decisions like that—or if you have at all. He makes you ask yourself, “Why can’t I have fun like that?” There’s an inevitable conclusion to that question. And if you reach it, you’re going to have fun right along with him—only to realize that you genuinely care for him as a character when things go wrong.

But maybe, that’s just me, speaking as a Sonic fan. Maybe my brain defaults to caring for Sonic as a character because I’m already programmed to do so. But that wouldn’t quite line up. In my conscious mind, at least, this iteration of Sonic had to be built up from scratch. If you go into the movie expecting this to be the same Sonic that you know and love, that’s going to be your most likely source of disappointment. No, this is a completely new character, and preconceived notions don’t go nearly far enough to justify how much I loved him by the end.

Is the movie perfect? Far from it. Are there plot holes? Oh yeah. Was I way more interested during the first 5 minutes of the movie than I was at any point afterwards? Absolutely. I don’t think anyone’s calling this movie a masterpiece, and I have to agree on that front. But I can’t say it enough. This movie was fun. Getting caught up in its own minutiae probably would’ve interfered with that. It may not be the perfect, flawless Sonic experience, but hey, it got us here, right?

-And please, five stars.

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