Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2020 action-comedy film directed by Jeff Fowler (Gopher Broke). It’s based on the video game from Sega. It was written by Josh Miller(Dorm Daze 1/2, 12 Deadly Days, Golan the Insatiable, & Transylmania) & Pat Casey (Game Box 1.0, Shotgun Wedding, Sledgehammers at Dawn, & Hey, Stop Stabbing Me!). It was produced by Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate , & Love, Death & Robots) & Neal H. Moritz (Juice, I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, Urban Legend franchise, The Skulls franchise, Soul Survivors, Cruel Intentions franchise, & Fast and the Furious franchise). This film has been in development since the early 90’s. They had to completely change the look of Sonic & redo the visual fx after releasing the original trailer to a nasty backlash of disappointed fans. A sequel is already in the works. The budget was at an estimated $95 million & it grossed $306.8 million at the box office worldwide!!!!
Sonic (played by: Ben Schwartz from Space Force, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ducktales, & Parks and Recreation), an extraterrestrial blue hedgehog who can run at supersonic speeds finds himself sought after by a tribe of echidnas for his power. His guardian, Longclaw the Owl (played by: Donna Jay Fulks from Detroit 1-8-7, Chicago Fire, & Chicago Med) gives him a bag of rings that can create portals to other planets using one to send him to Earth while she protects him from the echidnas. Ten years later, Sonic enjoys a secret life near the town of Green Hills, Montana, but longs to make friends. He idolizes the local sheriff Tom Wachowski (played by: James Marsden from the X-Men franchise, Superman Returns, Westworld & The Stand) & his veterinarian wife Maddie (played by: Tika Sumpter from Ride Along 1/2, Get on Up, Mixed-ish, & Nobody’s Fool), unaware the pair are planning to relocate to San Francisco soon since Tom has been hired by the San Francisco Police Department. One night, Sonic becomes upset over his loneliness when playing baseball by himself & runs at supersonic speed as a result inadvertently triggering an electromagnetic pulse that knocks out power across the Pacific Northwest.
Roboticist & scientific genius Doctor Robotnik (played by: Jim Carrey from Kick-Ass 2, Dark Crimes, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, & Man on the Moon)is enlisted by the United States Department of Defense to uncover the source of the outage. He takes control over Major Bennington (played by: Neal McDonough from Arrow, The Warrant, Legends of Tomorrow, Captain America: The First Avenger, & Walking Tall). Robotnik discovers & tracks down Sonic. Tom discovers Sonic & accidentally shoots him with a tranquilizer causing him to send his bag of rings through a portal to San Francisco. Tom reluctantly agrees to help Sonic before Robotnik arrives at the Wachowskis’ house & the two flee. Robotnik comes across one of Sonic’s quills, discovering the power in it has the potential to fuel his robots & becomes obsessed with capturing Sonic. The two strangers go on a wild road trip & bond over it. The obsessed & demented Robotnik is on their trail the whole time with his team. He finally catches up to them & he’s willing to sacrifice whatever to get his hands on the powerful Sonic. Can this unlikely duo survive this evil genius????
Sonic the Hedgehog plays out like a comedy road film with some action & drama thrown in the mix. It’s one of the better video game adaptations in recent years. The script pays homage to the past games with all kinds of easter eggs & it has some moments that will bring you back to playing them back in the day. James Marsden proves once again that he still has it when it comes to being the leading man. He played off everyone’s silly performances in his straight role which balanced everything out here. Let’s be honest, Jim Carrey is the true highlight in this & he’s the reason that you need to see Sonic. It’s been 6 years since the comedian has done a performance like this. He has mainly done more serious material in recent years so this was a breath of fresh air for the iconic actor. Doctor Robotnik was the perfect fit for Carrey going back to his over the top days. Such a unique villain & I honestly don’t think anyone else could pull off this role. He elevated this entire production with his presence & I can’t wait to see what he does in the sequel. The rest of the cast were solid which included Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Neal McDonough, Lee Majdoub (The 100), Frank C. Turner (Needful Things). & Adam Pally (Happy Endings). This is one that you can enjoy with the whole family. It works for everyone, not just kids because it does have more than a few adult situations here. Just turn off your brain & get ready for some entertainment with Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s a very fun experience. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition from Paramount Pictures! 2160p (2.39:1) with Dolby Vision & HDR10 looks fantastic in 4K. The visual style & fx really take advantage of the UHD format. If you have a few extra bucks, I definitely recommend this version over the standard blu ray or the outdated DVD. It’s one of those films that pays off with the extra boost of the quality. It’s loaded with a huge variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this UHD disc. This is a great sounding feature & it’s one that shines in your home set up. All the dialogue is crystal clear, the music is elevated here, & the Sonic speed plus silly action in this has a killer boost to them. It has an impressive amount of subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, & Turkish on the release. Paramount Pictures is the best when it comes to the technical aspects for home video & they cater to the international audience. This 4K release is good for all over the world & most releases can’t claim that.
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “Audio Commentary” with director Jeff Fowler & Sonic himself Ben Schwartz. They go over the controversy of the look of the classic character & the visual fx. They go over all the basics when it comes to the production. They cover the story, characters, actors including the voice work for it, & just details about the filming of the project. Lots of information & it’s a solid listen especially if you are a fan of the franchise. That’s the only extra on the 4K disc, the rest of the bonus material is located on the blu ray. “Around the World in 80 Seconds” is almost 2 minutes. Through some drawings, Sonic shares some of his lightening fast experiences all over the world. A little over 13 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” with introduction from director Jeff Fowler includes Original Opening, Super Observant Carl, Baby Sonic, Tom and Sonic Have a Chat, & Rachel and Wade Plan a Date. It’s a nice extra to have but I see why these didn’t make the final cut. A little over 2 minutes of “Bloopers” from the set featuring a few hilarious moments. It has the “Speed Me Up.” music video from the soundtrack. “For the Love of Sonic” is 4 minutes. It has interviews with director Jeff Fowler, producer Tim Miller, actors Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, & various members of the production. They chat about bringing the iconic video game character to the big screen. They talk about their experience & growing up on the games. They point out a few of the references & easter eggs featured in the movie. “Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with director Jeff Fowler, Sonic himself, actors Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, & various members of the production. They all praise Carrey for his performance as the loony villain. They chat about being fans of his work & they were excited to collab with him on this project. Carrey goes over the role & his experience with it. “The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic” is a little over 6 minutes. It has interviews with director Jeff Fowler, producer Tim Miller, actors Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, creator from the original games, & various members of the production. They go over the history of the Sonic character & game for a little bit. They chat about their experiences growing up & playing it. They talk about some of the more known elements from the universe & why they are included. “Sonic on Set” os a little over 3 minutes. Actor Ben Schwartz with James Marsden takes you behind the scenes on how he became Sonic. It shows the process where he transforms into the character through facial expressions & voice work. It comes with a nice glossy comic book titled “The Adventures of Sonic & Donut Lord”. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, advertisement for the games/merch from Sega, & a blu ray copy of the release. A few store exclusives have been released. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!