While video game movies have a habit of underperforming at the box office, Sonic The Hedgehog is currently in the top ten, grossing $58 million on its opening weekend.
The movie follows Sonic, the popular SEGA video game character who has been transported to Earth after his mother was going to be killed by Knuckles, the only surviving member from the clan of echidnas. On Earth, he meets a human named Tom Wachowski, who helps him on his quest to defeat Dr. Robotnik and send him back to his home planet.
To Sonic fans, this may seem like something that would kill any chance of a backstory into this Sonic’s world, by having the movie primarily take place on Earth. While this is good for newcomers to the franchise, who may not have played any of the games, it may come off as jarring for fans who were looking for a more relatable story similar to past plot points established in the games.
The character of Sonic was completely redesigned after the initial trailer was released and faced a lot of backlash due to how unsettling he looked. To people’s surprise, the directors took the time to delay the film and re-do the character model completely, giving him bigger eyes, more toned down colors, and different sneakers.
One of the more engaging and funnier parts of the movie for most people was Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, who gives an outstanding performance to give off the impression he is a goofy, insane villain who wants nothing more than to use Sonic’s super speed for his own gain. Since Carrey is most known for his zany performances in The Mask, Ace Ventura, and Dumb and Dumber, he brings that same energy to the character of Robotnik, definitely making him the funniest charcter in the movie through his facial experessions and witty one liners.
Throughout the film, he attempts to hunt down Sonic using high-tech gadgets and other machines so he can achieve his energy so he can become more powerful. While the effects are nothing too impressive, it is enough to keep the audience interested in the action scenes between Sonic and Robotnik.
Most of the movie also focuses on Sonic’s character and his dynamic with his human friend, Tom. They meet when Sonic gets lost in his garage, and both of them go on the quest to get back his rings as well as defeat Robotnik. Along the way, Tom helps him experience what it’s like to live on Earth, while helping him achieve what is on his bucket list, which helps them get closer as friends, and in the end, has Sonic live on Earth with him after they send Robotnik back to his home planet.
Many people may be wondering why Sonic the Hedgehog is performing so well in theaters, because it seems like an idea that would fail, since there is not a lot of connective lore from each of the Sonic games. Part of the reason may be that the movie, while aimed at younger audiences, is also targeted towards adults who may see it just for nostalgia. It has moments for both kids and adults with its humor and engaging story as well as its fun, and likable characters.