Sonic The Hedgehog Review Thread (63% on Rotten Tomatoes)

Your Rotten Tomatoes score prediction?

  • >90%

    Votes: 68 7.8%
  • 75-90%

    Votes: 97 11.1%
  • 60-75%

    Votes: 234 26.8%
  • 45-60%

    Votes: 293 33.6%
  • 30-45%

    Votes: 113 12.9%
  • 15-30%

    Votes: 50 5.7%
  • 0-15%

    Votes: 18 2.1%

  • Total voters
    873
  • Poll closed .

BZL8

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,567
Somewhere...


Review Thread


RT Consensus: Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy -- and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career.
Some Reviews:

Leigh Monson: Birth Movies Death
So yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by Sonic the Hedgehog. I was locked and loaded for this review to be a torrent of ironic appreciation for the kind of misguided thinking that gave rise to the original design in that instantly meme-able first trailer, but instead I found a film that complimented the spirit of the character as much as the superior redesign. Live and learn, eh?
Owen Glieberman: Variety
Given the level of obsession with which Sonic’s fans regard him, the makers of “Sonic the Hedgehog” would have done well to turn the film into a slapstick theme park of video-game trickery, like the relentlessly imaginative “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” But no! Their truly epic bad decision, far worse than the original fussy humanoid design of Sonic, was to make the “Sonic” movie into one of those clunky live-action adventure comedies with a digitally animated generic weisenheimer plopped into the middle of it.
The trouble with this form is that the live-action setting inevitably results in a cloyingly cheerful camp-sitcom woodenness — in this case, the tale of how Sonic buddies up with Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), a sheriff in the small town of Green Hills, Montana. The two finally land in San Francisco, so that the film can have an action climax set atop one of the towering platforms of the Transamerica Pyramid. Wherever they are, though, they’re an odd couple rotely snarky enough to make your lids droop.
John DeFore: The Hollywood Reporter
A throwback in more ways than one, Jeff Fowler's Sonic the Hedgehog obviously hopes that fondness for a video-game character birthed in 1991 is sufficient to get audiences into theaters for a CG-plus-live action adventure. To sweeten the nostalgic deal for parents of the kids the film is aimed at, Sonic offers Jim Carrey in a performance almost as full-tilt as those of his mid-'90s heyday. His villainous Dr. Robotnik supplies nearly as much amusement as the prickly star of the show, with this duo's hyperactivity balanced out by James Marsden in his nice-guy wheelhouse. The production may have riled the internet months ago, with furor over the look of its first trailer sending FX crews back to work on a character redesign; but what's made it to the screen is light-hearted fun unlikely to offend anyone.
A.A. Dowd: AV Club
(D+)
You could call Sonic The Hedgehog a wannabe E.T., except that might require imagining a version of Steven Spielberg’s classic where the extraterrestrial flosses, makes bad Uber jokes, and lectures Elliot about not appreciating what he already has. The film rises not even above the low bar of your average video game adaptation: Last summer’s Detective Pikachu was lousy, too, but it at least offered some gimcrack spectacle in the spirit of its source material. By contrast, this creatively bankrupt project divorces its title character from both the speed and tropical eye-candy, loop-de-loop backdrops of the Sonic games, dropping him instead into drab roadhouses, suburban kitchens, and the passenger seat of a car chugging down a nondescript highway. Even the scant bursts of action are unremarkable; the best director Jeff Fowler can offer is a weak knockoff of the “Time In A Bottle” sequence from X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Only Carrey, half-committing to some recycled uptight-madman shtick, ever threatens to rocket Sonic The Hedgehog out of its pedestrian kid-flick junkyard. You almost want to root for Robotnik, in an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend kind of way. Which is to say, if the bad guy wins, the good guy shuts up.
David Ehrlich: IndieWire
(C-)
If there had to be a “Sonic” movie — and there really didn’t — it needed to stress how the character’s history differentiates him from the myriad other manic toons we’ve been forced to endure in the content era, and not just spin him into a standard piece of family entertainment that feels as slapdash as a run through Casino Night Zone. It’s only during the film’s many egregious moments of product placement that it seems to discover any kind of sincere personality; after all, Sonic is nothing if not a natural-born saleshog.
Blige Ebiri: Vulture
This year’s Sonic the Hedgehog could have been the biggest hit of 1996, in ways both good and bad. From the movie’s shopworn one-liners, to the un-ironic use of the “Yup, that’s me, now you’re probably wondering how I got here” freeze-frame meme, to the spectacle of Jim Carrey (finally, thankfully) being Jim Carrey again, to the random Olive Garden jokes, to the fact that we’re watching, y’know, a Sonic the Hedgehog movie … the whole project feels like it was written, conceived, and green lit decades ago. But that’s also part of its appeal. For all the frantic CGI fantasy — this is, after all, a children’s flick based on a SEGA videogame about a spiny, speedy mammal from another dimension — Jeff Fowler’s film still has a modesty that feels like a throwback to a simpler blockbuster era.
Scott Mendelson: Forbes
Sonic the Hedgehog is aimed squarely at kids, but it remains entertaining for adults and feels unusually level-headed and in the moment. And, yes, it’s better than Hop, the other “James Marsden befriends a fantastical creature and tries to get him to where he needs to go” comic road trip movie. The climax gives you your money’s worth without descending into fx-driven chaos, while the focus remains on character even during the final action sequences.

Sonic the Hedgehog is, by the standard of almost any video game-based movie prior to two years ago, a miracle. I can understand why the filmmakers spent the time and money to fix the Sonic designs. They made a pretty good movie, and they wanted to make sure that audiences actually wanted to see it.
Sam Mackovech: Ars Technica
Now, audience members can rest assured that this serviceable, acceptable, not-amazing-but-not-terrible family film wasn't tanked by toothy, limber, squinty-eyed Sonic. With that crucial detail out of the way, the rest of the attached film isn't as sensational or headline-worthy. The series' first live-action film is neither a jolt to the pantheon of Sonic media nor a must-see video game adaptation. We've landed somewhere above The Angry Birds Movie, somewhere below Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.
...
I'm glad Sonic had enough of its parts in place to get me through a viewing feeling entertained. But the only thing that would get me to recommend this film over other family-friendly options is, honestly, Jim Carrey's performance. Nothing else in Sonic the Hedgehog feels particularly exciting, even within its specific niche of a clear "PG, not PG-13" rating.
Kirsten Kirby-Page: The Washington Post
(★★★ out of four)
Fans of the video games will find a host of allusions, but there’s plenty to please any moviegoer who can’t tell a Sega from a Switch. In the end, “Sonic” is quippy without being mean, and sweet without being sappy, making this a trip that’s well worth taking.
Dami Lee: The Verge
Ultimately, Sonic is a children’s movie that recognizes it may be kids’ first introduction to the hedgehog, so it makes minimal references to the video game world he comes from and spends more time alluding to things they might get. Unfortunately, the gags seem a few years too late, immediately dating themselves: there are multiple jokes about Olive Garden’s unlimited pasta. Sonic does the floss dance not once, but twice. They make jokes about Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious. (Actually, this one will probably stay relevant for as long as they keep making FF movies, which is forever.)

The movie shines when it remembers it’s based on a video game, and there’s some genuinely fun stuff — like when Sonic uses his time-stopping powers or Robotnik’s elaborate “evil-plotting” montage that makes you wonder why more movies don’t feature bad guys with choreographed dance sequences. Carrey plays up Robotnik as the cartoon villain he is, and it’s a true delight to watch him in his element.
Brian Truitt: USA Today
(★★ out of four) The film is fine, familiar fare for gamers and children: Sonic sprints, Carrey mugs, but the creative juices run out quickly.
Heather Alexandria: Kotaku
Sonic the Hedgehog is fine. That’s the best thing I can say for it here, particularly for any diehard reader who finds themselves conflicted about their investment in this movie. It’s fine! The premise is flimsy and the script isn’t memorable but the earnestness is infectious. It’s a silly story about growing up and finding your place, which just happens to have a blue hedgehog and a mustachioed Jim Carrey. If you wanted some intense adaptation of Sonic Adventure or something more specific to the games, you won’t find it here. It’s not your movie; it’s your little brother’s. Leave expectations behind and you’ll have some fun.
Oliver Jones: The Observer
(★★★ out of four)
In what is something of a movie miracle or at the very least an unexpected surprise, this adaptation of the much-loved Sega video game franchise launched nearly 30 years ago as a direct assault on Nintendo’s leaping plumber Mario, largely presses the all the right buttons—and even does so in the right order.

Directed by Jeff Fowler, making his feature-film debut after directing the 2004 Academy Award-nominated short film Gopher Broke, the film exudes an easy charm and affability. Its joyfulness and lighthearted sense of fun go a long way towards counterbalancing the cynicism and slick hucksterism baked into this sort of endeavor, which—even when you are enjoying its straightforward appeal—never lets you forget it is as much a product launch as it is cinema.
Jake Cole: Slant
(★1/2 out of four)
For a film that gained notoriety well before its release for how wildly Sonic’s original animation diverged from his well-established look, Sonic the Hedgehog does show a clear understanding of the source material and its essential nature. Sonic, fundamentally, is a goofy character with a specific power who just wants friends, and as exasperating as the film can be in its overbearingly clumsy humor, it at least never tries to make the character more complicated than he really is. But the lack of any greater depth to the core of the material limits the possibilities of making any of this meaningful to anyone.

Video games long ago began to reveal their cinematic aspirations, but the Sonic the Hedgehog series to this day continues to channel the old-school cool of platformers that prize gameplay—and testing the player’s hand-eye coordination—over matters of story. There’s plenty of potential for movies and games to inform one another, but perhaps the only aspect of video game culture that Sonic the Hedgehog brings to cinema is the trend of allowing preemptive fan outrage to necessitate overhauls from already overworked animators.
Kellen Beck: Mashable
If you’re a Sonic fan of the '90s or '00s hoping for some deep cut references or something that appeals to your developed tastes and critical thinking, you’ll probably walk away disappointed. And if you're looking for a fun movie full of heart and great characters, you'll probably walk away disappointed too, because this movie feels empty, even if it is pretty.
Brandon Zachary - CBR
For what it's worth, the potential for a weird-and-wild family blockbuster seems to be somewhere in the DNA of Sonic the Hedgehog. The cast is certainly strong, the action can be fun, and if it had been more willing to go big with its odder elements, the film could have been something special. However, instead it's jumbled at best and lackluster at worst. Pop-culture references that already feel dated abound and the story finds convenient ways to halt the plot and keep it from moving nearly as fast as it could -- and should. The movie's inability to maintain a consistent tone trips up what could have been a fun experience, blunting the elements that actually work.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
(★1/2 out of four) This isn’t the best film to make one’s feature directing debut with. But Jeff Fowler had an animation research job on “Where the Wild Things Are,” so he’s just happy to be here. It’s doubtful anybody else could have gotten more out of this limp script.

But I dare say hedgehog-sized tykes — say seven-and-under — will be tickled enough by this to make it a late-winter sleeper.
Edward Douglas - The Weekend Warrior
(8/10)
Sure, the plot can be a bit predictable with certain parts clearly geared to kids, but there’s also slew of pop references that display some real talent in the writing of the movie so that it can be watched and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Is it possible that Sonic the Hedgehog is the first thoroughly entertaining movie of the year? Yes, indeedy. (Definitely stay through the first bunch of credits if you are a Sonic fan!)
Other Sites/Reviews of Interest:

Videos:


Chris Stuckmann:
Jeremy Jahns:
Gamexplain:

DreamcastGuy:
 
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Pop-O-Matic

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
5,030
From the last thread, here's all the "Critics Reccomended" percentages from OpenCritic (the closest thing games have to RT right now):

Mania/Mania Plus: 97%
Team Sonic Racing: 60%
Lost World: 25%
Fire & Ice: 14%
Forces: 13%
Rise of Lyric: 0%

So yeah, if this thing clears the "Fresh" threshold, that'll make it more critically acclaimed than every non-Mania Sonic game in recent memory.
 
OP
OP
BZL8

BZL8

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,567
Somewhere...
Made a thread cause I saw the Slate review. Didn't know it broke embargo. Oh well, a thread was still going to be needed anyway.
 

Dusk Golem

Local Horror Enthusiast
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
3,697
I guess if we have an early review thread, though these aren't official review outlets, there are decently sized online people who've seen the movie that have made reviews:

 

BossDumDrum

Member
Jan 3, 2020
20
To me, this is the most important quote of Slate's review:

For a film that gained notoriety well before its release for how wildly Sonic’s original animation diverged from his well-established look, Sonic the Hedgehog does show a clear understanding of the source material and its essential nature.
I have a feeling, this will be the big driving factor to this movie's success more than anyone gives it credit for.
 

Aprikurt

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,787
From the last thread, here's all the "Critics Reccomended" percentages from OpenCritic (the closest thing games have to RT right now):

Mania/Mania Plus: 97%
Team Sonic Racing: 60%
Lost World: 25%
Fire & Ice: 14%
Forces: 13%
Rise of Lyric: 0%

So yeah, if this thing clears the "Fresh" threshold, that'll make it more critically acclaimed than every non-Mania Sonic game in recent memory.
And we're not getting a Mania 2. Mania 2 is not in development. I feel this is a cold, sobering fact that we need repeated every so often.
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
7,865
30 to 40%
This movie is going to disappoint I just feel it. Lol want to keep my avatar damn you :(
 

Mahonay

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,083
Pencils Vania
Take a look at this lucky guy. Already seen a pre-release showing and knows whether or not it’s a bad movie before any of us. Jealous.
I will do an avatar bet with you that the movie will be bad.
How “bad” we talking about here? Like ≤50% RT bad?
If the movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 51% or above one week after release, this will be your avatar for a month:



If the movie has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 50% or less one week after release, well... I’ll need to see your choice for me before I agree to this avatar bet. ;P
Lmao. Deal. I’ll have to get back to you with an avatar.
I’VE COME TO COLLECT

Your new avatar awaits you
 
Oct 27, 2017
542
Movie is already out here. My five-year-old saw a trailer on the screen in our apartment elevator and wants to go. I’m hesitant because I don’t want it to ruin Sonic for him.
 

Amalthea

Member
Dec 22, 2017
1,960
I voted 15-30% and it feels really generous because I think this is a Cats-situation, that fixing the CG won't automatically improve the film itself and those pre-existing cartoon characters get transported into our world type of movies rarely are anything but crap.
 
May 20, 2018
7,340
Ponds
I’m staying optimistic for now and chose 60%-75%. I imagine Jim Carrey will help carry this movie by a large margin, at least for me. With that said, I’m afraid there won’t be enough of him in the film either. Guess I’ll find out.
 

♡♪!?

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,293
I'm guessing it will be another Hop or The Happytime Murders, dull cartoon sidekick in real life setting. I guess 25%. To be honest even if it's decently reviewed, the premise doesn't look for me and man I have a soft spot for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
 

Stef

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,702
Rome, Italy, Planet Earth
My Review on IGN (Italy).

The movie is overall pleasant, yet it relies too much on the classic "alien creature arrives in our world and needs help to get out", without many sparks.

The cast is very good, with a focus on Jim Carrey, a nice Dr. Robotnik.

Small spoiler about the trailers in relation to the movie.

The trailers are a bit misleading, as they show you at least a pair of scenes not set on out planet (baby Sonic, Sonic running in Green Hill Zone, Robotnik in a weird world with is signature bald head and moustaches...)

Actually these settings are in the movie for something like 2 minutes. The whole movie is on planet Earth.

Rated 6.5 out of 10.0.

I think children will enjoy it more than Sonic fans. :)

Oh, plenty of cameos and easter eggs.

And yes...

Sanic is in.
 
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Romain

Senior Editor, Gameblog
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
309
I've seen the movie last week and I can talk about it freely (embargo lifted at midnight French time for me). It isn't a bad movie but it isn't great either. We've seen far worse video game movies. But it's clearly a kids movie with a very simple story. Jim Carrey is in full "The Mask/Ace Ventura mode" and we hadn't seen him like this in a while. There a few funny jokes in there for adults but kids will clearly enjoy it the most. And stay during the credits, there is a mid-credits scene.
 

Stef

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,702
Rome, Italy, Planet Earth
I've seen the movie last week and I can talk about it freely (embargo lifted at midnight French time for me). It isn't a bad movie but it isn't great either. We've seen far worse video game movies. But it's clearly a kids movie with a very simple story. Jim Carrey is in full "The Mask/Ace Ventura mode" and we hadn't seen him like this in a while. There a few funny jokes in there for adults but kids will clearly enjoy it the most. And stay during the credits, there is a mid-credits scene.
Actually, there are two. ;)
 

Kapryov

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,369
Australia
I'm guessing around 50%, I can't imagine it'll be anything better than average based on what I've seen (and expect)... but I'm voting for 60-75% because I want it to happen.
Make it happen, critics. Make the Sonic movie "fresh".
 

Romain

Senior Editor, Gameblog
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
309
Actually, there are two. ;)
There is one right at the end of the movie (we saw a glimpse of it in one of the trailers) and one mid-credits as far as I've seen. I didn't stay until the very end of the credits so I don't know if you meant that there is another one at the end of the credits.