Street Fighter. Super Mario Bros. The collective works of Ewe Boll. If you were around in the 90s you probably know that movies based on video games usually were known for being fairly far away from the source material. But since then we have had Tomb Raider movies, Detective Pikachu and a heaping more that gave us hope for the genre. With Sonic the Hedgehog now in cinemas is this a Resident Evil level adaption or more Christian Slater in House of the Dead.
For anyone who doesn’t know Sonic the Hedgehog… c’mon. It’s Sonic. The #1 game for the SEGA Megadrive. *sigh* Ok well Sonic (the Hedgehog) is a blue ball of kinetic energy who first appeared in the 90s in a side-scrolling 16-bit platformer. The red shoe wearing speedster who was SEGAs answer to Super Mario went on to spawn over 90 games since first appearing in 1991.
The plot of the games roughly boiled down to Sonic’s woodland creature friends being kidnapped by a mad scientist named Dr Eggman (or if you lived outside of PAL regions Dr Robotnik) and put inside robots that Sonic would need to explode by rolling up in a ball and hitting to free. A combination of speed and gold ring collection was the goal to finish the level without getting hit as if you did you would drop all your rings. Get hit with no rings, game over.
So how could such a simple platformer transform into an hour and a half feature film starring the X-Men’s Cyclops and Ace Ventura?
The road to release had not been kind to Sonic with the movie originally intended for release in November 2019 just in time for Christmas it was put back into post-production after a trailer with the Sonic of your nightmares originally appearing. Deviating hard from the comic stylings of the games (and even cartoon) the Internet spoke and the studio listened after almost universal dislike for the intended design. The end result was that all onscreen animations for Sonic were completely re-done to give a more true to the source look for the Hedgehog.
In this new version, Sonic is an alien who comes to earth after travelling through one of his magic gold rings. After living in secret for many years Sonic is discovered after he accidentally creates an EMP that blacks out most of the US. Clearly needing to escape earth and move onto the next world on his bucket list Sonic’s actions attract the attention of the US Government who send in their top man – Stanley Ipkiss.
From here you can kind of guess what happens. While the movie might say Sonic the Hedgehog there is definitely a hint of Bruce Almighty throughout the film that fills the non-Sonic flossing moments as he travels to San Francisco with his new best friend Teddy Flood.
So should you go see it? Sonic was originally intended for a Christmas holiday release and to be honest, it probably would have done brilliantly aiming towards the younger crowd. While not quite Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider, Sonic does what it sets out to do which is ‘What if Quicksilver from X-Men Days of Future Past was a blue alien in a kids movie who battled Truman Burbank in a film that strangely was written by 2 guys who mostly did horror films up until this point?’. Now if we could only get an Ecco the Dolphin feature film.
Sonic the Hedgehog is in cinemas right now across Australia