Sonic the Hedgehog (PG) - 99 minutes
Updated: Feb 17
Take an intergalactic blue hedgehog, add a good-natured, small-town sheriff and a never-ending battle with a maniacal, unhinged, persistent, arrogant and super smart villain.
Then stir liberally and, believe it or not, you have the makings of a fun, if totally far-fetched, family film.
With no expectations entering the cinema, I emerged thinking the film makers had thrown a little magic dust at the subject and emerged victorious.
In short, you have a lonely alien drawing attention to himself by generating a massive power surge attracting the attention of the US military.
Now to the detail …
Sonic the Hedgehog (the voice of Ben Schwartz) is a live-action adventure comedy based upon the video game franchise from Sega that centres on a brash bright blue urchin from another world.
Sonic is a little ball of super energy and speed and with that great power come power hungry villains wanting what he has.
Born on a faraway planet, he is looked after by an owl named Longclaw, but when Sonic is attacked by a posse of nasties he is forced to flee with the help of a magical golden ring.
It is that ring that transports him to another world – Earth – where he lands in the small town of Green Hills, Montana.
There his supersonic speed allows him to remain hidden from his human neighbours, but he is lonely.
He is always looking out for the townsfolk, while longing for their companionship.
That includes the sheriff, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), whose affection for morning pastries has led Sonic to call him “Doughnut Lord” and Tom’s wife, Maddie (Tika Sumpter), aka “Pretzel Lady”, named so after her impressive yoga moves.
After watching a local baseball game, Sonic takes to the field alone and plays all the positions himself.
It’s an incredible display of super-speed, but it has Sonic feeling even lonelier and he works out his feelings in an electrifying and turbo-charged run, which leaves the area without power.
The sudden and widespread outage draws the attention of the military and C.I.A., which enlists the maniacal mega-genius Dr Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey), to track down the source of the energy surge.
James Marsden makes for a charming lead whose characterisation is endearing.
Sonic has frenzied energy to burn and upends everything in which he is involved.
A moustachioed Jim Carey is perfectly cast as the painful, face pulling, wise cracking bad guy.
Exaggeration is exactly what this role calls for ... and he doesn’t disappoint.
Writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller clearly had fun creating outrageous situations for Sonic and Tom to face.
I am happy to say director Jeff Fowler has made a decent fist of his first feature film, providing some laughs along the way.
Rated PG, Sonic the Hedgehog scores a 6½ out of 10.