Strong script, revamped animation help ‘Sonic’ soar

Joseph Ferrer, Staff Writer

Film adaptations of video games are notoriously low quality, and “Sonic the Hedgehog”initially seemed to be another failure. Originally, the famous video game character’s initial, freakishly realistic design scared off fans. After being delayed to completely rework the character’s appearance, “Sonic the Hedgehog” ran into theatres on Feb. 14.  Sonic’s animation has dramatically improved in quality and the redesign helped turn the movie into a fast-paced, entertaining film that fans of the blue blur will absolutely enjoy.

The premise of the film focuses on Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, being transported to Earth after fleeing his home planet. After an incident involving police officer Tom Wachowski, played by James Marsden, and Dr. Robotnik, portrayed by actor Jim Carrey, Sonic loses the golden rings that allow him to travel between planets. Sonic teams up with Tom to travel across the country to find them.

The premise is simple yet effective which compliments the brisk, jocular script of the film. The writing is humorous and charming with several great jokes and references to the video games throughout. Most of the comedy comes from the strength of the dialogue with a welcoming lack of reliance on slapstick humor. While not every joke sticks the landing and there are a few instances of juvenility, the writing helps keep the film engaging and entertaining.

“Sonic the Hedgehog” succeeds as an adaptation because the film respects the source material of the video games. While the film has its own unique portrayals of Sonic and Dr. Robotnik, there was never a time where they acted extremely out of character. The actors do a great job in highlighting the unique traits of their roles with Schwartz’s witty commentary and Carrey’s over-the-top egotism.

Jim Carrey especially has a fantastic performance bringing an energy similar to his roles in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Mask.The references to the franchise are cleverly placed thought out and there were a few only hardcore fans of the franchise will understand.

Despite its unprecedented development, “Sonic the Hedgehog” became an extremely enjoyable film for both casual audiences and hardcore fans of the video game franchise. With the film leaving plenty of room open for a sequel, it’s exciting to see what may come from the series in the future