By Brennan Atkins
Arts & Features Editor
By Noah Barnes
The “Sonic” franchise is approaching 30 years of jumping on springs, dodging spikes, and running around at the speed of sound, and people seem to be attached to his character to this very day. Whether it’s due to his iconic design, or his quick-witted, carefree attitude – it’s clear that the “Blue Blur” has a fanbase stronger than ever.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” features Ben Shwartz as the voice of Sonic, James Marsden as Tom, and the beloved Jim Carrey as the infamous Dr. Robotnik.
The film captures many of the elements behind what makes him an entertaining character, but certainly not all of them.
Shwartz, the voice behind Sonic, was an excellent casting choice as he was really able to make Sonic a character of his own. He didn’t try to sound exactly like previous Sonic voice actors such as Jason Griffith, or Martin Burke, but rather made a new voice inspired by the works of the past.
He brings a childlike attitude to his performance, and this really flowed with the tone of the movie. Similar to Sonic in other media, he always has a comeback lined up. The film certainly does have action, it’s a lighthearted “coming of age” story and Shwartz’s acting reflects that.
The comedy in the film isn’t always well written, admittedly, but there are some humorous scenes in which Sonic exhibits his powers, such as him playing baseball by himself – Sonic pitches to Sonic, and then Sonic hits the ball to Sonic in the outfield.
It may sound a bit dumb, but it’s dumb fun and that’s all right with us.
Except for when Sonic “Flosses,” that may be a bit too dumb.
One huge issue with Sonic’s character is the writers add in a narrative of him being lonely. We don’t hate the idea of Sonic feeling a little blue, but it seriously messes up the film’s pace when you go from him having all sorts of fun, to him not feeling like there’s a single person he can connect to.
Jim Carrey’s performance as Doctor Robotnik sees a return to the comedian’s off-the-wall antics that made him a star in the ’90s. While it might not live up to some of his other iconic performances such as in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” or “The Mask,” it’s apparent Carrey had quite a fun time with this film.
Half of the film is dedicated to the villainous Dr. Robotnik, as if Carrey was one of the big selling points to go watch this movie. Much like many of his older roles, he had quite a lot of creative freedom to ad-lib and improvise as he pleased – kids are sure to get a good laugh in at Carrey’s zany performance.
Marsden does his job just fine. Nothing really to write home about, but he gets the occasional laugh.
Many people were hesitant on the idea of having a CGI hedgehog running around real life San Francisco, but the CGI team turned out to be quite competent when it came to blending the two extremes. It’s not impressive, but we didn’t find ourselves distracted by anything the film puts on screen.
The music was divisive to say the least. At times, the soundtrack included iconic songs from the series, such as “Friends” by Hyper Potion, which is featured in the intro to 2017’s “Sonic Mania,” and it made for a refreshing, exciting introduction to the film.
However, the end credit song may just get the award for “worst music ever associated with Sonic.” “Speed Me Up” by Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, and Sueco the Child not only sounds off beat for half the song, but they don’t even sound like they wanted to do it.
The “Blue Blur” brings his best … and mostly succeeds.