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James Marsden (left) as the reliable small-town sheriff Tom, who wants to save someone for a change, and Sonic, who longs for friendship and a sense of belonging. (Picture courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Sega of America)
James Marsden (left) as the reliable small-town sheriff Tom, who wants to save someone for a change, and Sonic, who longs for friendship and a sense of belonging. (Picture courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Sega of America)

BASED on the uber popular Sega video game franchise from the 1990s, the new Sonic The Hedgehog movie is a suitably entertaining live-action cinematic adaptation.

Fans of the legendary game will appreciate the many Easter eggs and homage moments included in the movie by visual effects artist, Jeff Fowler, who makes his directorial debut here.

It's a simple and fast-paced comedy adventure that even those not well versed in the lore of the original game will get to enjoy.

Basically a story of friendship and belonging, it revolves around the journey of the titular computer-animated hedgehog.

Voiced by Ben Schwartz, the fuzzy character is an alien creature that's lightning fast and an energy dynamo to boot.

Hunted in his home world for his powers, the speedy blue creature is sent to Earth by his kindly keeper via a golden ring that opens a temporary portal.

The young hero learns to live in a small town close to San Francisco, where he keeps a low profile, unseen by its human population.

Restless and alone, he dreams of making friends and attaches himself to the local sheriff, Tom (James Marsden), and his wife, Maddie (Tika Sumpter), although they are not aware of his existence.

But things change when he unintentionally unleashes his burst of energy one night and causes a major power failure across the region.

This causes the US government to engage the services of an eccentric scientist and inventor, Dr Robotnik (Jim Carrey), to find out exactly what happened.

From then on, Tom, who finally discovers the existence of Sonic, must help the creature find his bag of portal-opening rings, which was accidentally deposited in San Francisco.

The exciting road trip sees Dr Robotnik hot on their heels to capture Sonic and exploit his powers.

Early on in pre-production, Fowler listened to fan criticism about the initial awkwardly feral look of Sonic. The production team then took time to recreate his features to resemble the more cartoony and beloved original hedgehog.

That goodwill towards fans has certainly helped the movie's box office.

Jim Carrey’s outrageous portrayal of the villainous inventor, Dr Robotnik, is certainly a highlight of the fast-paced comedy adventure. (Picture courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Sega of America)
Jim Carrey’s outrageous portrayal of the villainous inventor, Dr Robotnik, is certainly a highlight of the fast-paced comedy adventure. (Picture courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Sega of America)

Although his final look is more palatable now, his certain expressions were a little stiff at times.

But what saved it was Schwartz's upbeat and emotive voice that made the fictional character much more believable.

The movie was not perfect and had several plot holes but the live cast were committed to their roles and made the journey a fun one.

It was also very heart-warming to witness the developing friendship between Sonic and Tom.

And there were nice moments between the fast hedgehog and other characters as well.

Certain points in the movie literally made the audience go, "Awwwww..."

Oh, and another highlight would be Carrey's OTT portrayal of the mad ego-centric scientist.

The rubber-faced comedian, who was big in the 1990s, returns in top comedic form here (it was like a blast from the past).

Carrey certainly had the best insulting zingers and wasted no time in milking every second of his screen time with his oddball jokes, exaggerated dialogue and hilarious body movements.

The movie wrapped up nicely and there were some post credit scenes to tease fans for a sequel that will most likely happen.

This first outing was a good solid start, that's been reported to be bringing in the box office coin at the moment, so there's the possibility for a Sonic Cinematic Universe in the future as well.

There might even be other titles from the Sega line of video games to get the big screen treatment too.

Bottom line, Sonic and Carrey fans should catch this movie! Curious parents who want to bring their kids along will not be disappointed either.

NOW SHOWING

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Directed by Jeff Fowler

Starring James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Jim Carrey

Duration 99 minutes

Rating P13

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