SONIC THE HEDGEHOG – Review by Susan Granger

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

After scoring a record-breaking opening weekend, the success of this iconic Sega character proves that there’s still potential profit in CG/live-action video game movies.

Blue-furred, spiky-haired Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) comes from a far-away planet, where his phenomenal ability to run fast got him into trouble. A wise old owl (an “Obi-Wan who eats mice”) gives him a bag of magic teleport rings that open gateways to alien worlds but cautions him to keep a low profile and not attract unwanted attention.

So Sonic winds up near the tiny town of Green Hills, Montana, where he pretends to be part of the Wachowski household, although they don’t know he exists. To him, Sheriff Tom (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) are Donut Lord and Pretzel Lady.

But Sonic is lonely, very lonely. So lonely that he plays baseball by himself, racking up such speed that he creates a mysterious crackle of blue energy which knocks out power throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Panicked about the cause of the blackout, the Pentagon dispatches villainous Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to trap the “blue devil” whose motto is “Gotta go fast.”

Robotnik tells his henchman, Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub), that he was trained by “Native American Shadow Wolves,” referring to the real-life trackers who work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Eventually, Sheriff Tom becomes Sonic’s ally, travelling to San Francisco to retrieve Sonic’s lost bag of rings from atop the Transamerica Pyramid.

Scripted by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, it’s directed by Jeff Fowler, who persisted after the outraged negative reaction to the original visual design of Sonic’s character, particularly his teeth.

Historically, movies based on video games – “Super Mario Bros,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Resident Evil,” even “Tomb Raider” – have not done as well as anticipated. But Sonic’s box-office bonanza may launch a new era of game adaptations.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Sonic the Hedgehog” is a speed-demon 6, a blue blur, marking the 60th anniversary of Sega.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.