This is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant surprises of the year.
Not only has the speedy alien hedgehog spun up a truly fun-packed family movie – but arguably provided the best video game-to-movie adaptation ever.
This film – based on the global SEGA blockbuster gaming franchise that originated on the MegaDrive in the early nineties – is terrific entertainment from start to finish, with plenty of pacey action sequences and humorous interludes, that really bring so much electricity to the piece.
It also proves to be a bit of a career renaissance for Jim Carrey – who stars as Sonic’s nemesis Doctor ‘Eggman’ Robotnik – with him going back to his roots to put in the kind of comedic performances more akin to his Ace Ventura and The Mask schtick from a quarter of a century ago – and he seems to be having a ‘blast’ doing so.
And on top of that, this was meant to be a ‘dud’ after the early computer-generated effects – which showed a more human ‘rat-like’ Sonic – were absolutely slammed by fans, which meant the whole technical aspect was re-tooled, costing millions of dollars to boot.
But boy, that bold move seems to have seriously paid off, with an impressive box-office haul in both the UK and Stateside in its opening weekend – and deservedly so.
After having to quickly leave his homeworld of Green Hills due to an attempted abduction due to his otherworldy ‘supersonic’ speeds, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is teleported across the galaxy via a magical ring to Earth – in Green Hills, Montana to be exact – which he’s now embraced for ten years keeping himself a secret.
But when Sonic accidentally emits an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out power across the Pacific Northwest, the government brings in zany super-intelligent scientist Dr Robotnik (Carrey) to find answers to a potential alien-esque incident – which puts him on the trail of the furry blue animal.
That leads to Sonic hiding out in the garage of local town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James ‘Cyclops’ Marsden), who then helps the hedgehog try and evade Robotnik – who wants to experiment on him – and take him to San Francisco to find his precious rings which he dropped there when one of them briefly opened up a portal.
Along the way there are some surprisingly entertaining – and sometimes heartwarming – set-pieces that really get the pacing right, and endears both Sonic, and the supporting cast including Marsden, Tika Sumpter (who plays Tom’s wife Maddie) and even Carrey’s roguish villain to the audience, in a constantly enjoyable fashion.
You’d have to be in a very bad mood to find a lot to dislike here, that’s for sure.
So for once, a movie comes out on the right side of things after enduring so much bad press and if the end credits and box-office is anything to go by it will undoubtedly spawn a new franchise for years to come.
With his super speed and electric energy who’s going to stop him after this sensational outing? Because as far as big-screen debuts go – this provides a Sonic Boom.
ESP Rating: 4/5
Cast: James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Neal Mcdonough & the voice of Ben Schwartz
Running Time: 1 Hr 39 Mins
Director: Jeff Fowler
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