On a Valentine’s Day, dinner and a movie is always a classic option to fall back on for date night.
However, you might have waltzed your way into the theater only to come eye to eye with a cardboard display of a familiar blue mammal.
Relieved to see the improvements made to the hideous “realistic” design, you may still be suspicious of the film’s quality.
But as you recline into your seat and prepare for the worst, you may find your heart stolen in the blink of an eye by “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
Released on Feb. 14, 2020, “Sonic the Hedgehog” follows the titular blue hedgehog (Ben Schwartz) and Montana police officer Tom Watchowski (James Marsden) as they try to escape from the clutches of Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who wants to use Sonic’s power for his machines.
As soon as the movie began, I fell in love with its faithfulness to the blue blur’s roots.
Whether it is the iconic sound of clinking rings, references to other “Sonic” media or even Sonic’s refreshing makeover, fans will appreciate the attention to detail from start to finish.
Sonic even had a scene where he enjoys his classic chili dogs.
The acting of the main cast is phenomenal as well. Ben Schwartz’s voice fits superbly and is reminiscent of the voices of Sonics’ past.
His lines are spoken with the perfect amount of cockiness you’d expect to hear from the hedgehog.
Nobody could reenact the insanity of Robotnik the way Jim Carrey does.
From his quick-witted and erratic speeches to his know-it-all, control-freak attitude, the rotten egg man comes to life on the big screen thanks to Carrey’s inherent insanity.
As the only main role not originating from the “Sonic” franchise, James Marsden’s cliché role puts him at a bit of a disadvantage as a character.
However, Tom Watchowski is still an enjoyable character with conflicting ideals that make him an unlikely friend of Sonic.
Although his role is more or less that of a self-insert for the audience, Marsden plays it fantastically, giving the audience a realistic depiction of how someone might react when crossing paths with a supersonic blue hedgehog.
Sonic’s super speed donates itself perfectly to action scenes, especially those enacted in slow motion.
Similar to Quicksilver from “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” many of Sonic’s action scenes cause time to freeze as he leisurely manipulates the battle to his whim by toying with his opponents and setting traps for them before time unfreezes.
This style of combat scene can be great fun due to the antics of the supersonic hero, yet somehow, “Sonic the Hedgehog” takes it one step further.
While normally these kinds of battles are one-sided, Robotnik breaks the mold by harvesting Sonic’s power, allowing him and his ship to travel just as fast as Sonic.
This creates a unique fight scene where the duo chases each other through a time-frozen landscape, breaking the expectations of both the audience and Sonic himself.
Between amazing attention to detail, acting and action, “Sonic the Hedgehog” has a lot of perks to give it a boost.
However, “Sonic the Hedgehog” does hit a few bumps in the road.
One of these bumps is the movie’s cliché overarching plot. Too often, we see movies of cartoon characters invading the real world with a human sidekick dragged along for the ride.
Frankly, the trope is overused and lacks creativity. An adventure placed in Sonic’s universe without any interaction from the real world could make a more unique adventure.
The film’s brand promotion is cringeworthy.
The pacing of scenes comes screeching to a halt by Olive Garden promotions violently crammed into conversations.
Not once throughout the movie does the product placement feel natural and shatters any immersion the viewer might have had.
Pop culture references are also a guilty pleasure in which the film partakes.
From referencing movies to flossing, Sonic can’t help but regurgitate popular media.
Although this wouldn’t feel completely out of character on its own, it is sharply contrasted by Sonic’s equal lack of understanding of terms such as “bucket lists,” something he might be expected to absorb along with his pop-culture lexicon.
Despite the handful of heartbreaks, I left the theater glad I could share my Valentine’s Day with the blue blur himself.
It isn’t often that we are blessed with good movies featuring our favorite video game characters, let alone one worth incorporating into date night.