As a film critic, I try my very best to give an honest, objective and clear argument for why or why not you should see a movie. But no matter how critical and impartial I try to be watching a movie, consuming art of any kind is an inherently emotional experience. It’s important for me to clarify this because Sonic the Hedgehog is a bad movie. Bankrupting a VFX studio to fix Sonic’s design was never going to improve the film. But it’s also the closest thing to a religious experience I’ll ever have.
This movie is made for young children. If that isn’t clear after the first five minutes, it certainly will be around the second time Sonic flosses. Besides weirdos on the internet, little kids are going to be the only ones excited to see a Sonic movie. So, I expected the dumbed down plot, the underwritten characters and the juvenile humor. And I’m not saying it was all bad. Jim Carrey as villain Dr. Robotnik was nothing short of an inspired casting decision. As long as the flashing lights and pretty colors get the kids to calm down for an hour and a half, the film did its job. But doing your job isn’t an automatic get out of jail free card. Films like The LEGO Movie and Fantastic Mr. Fox are proof that having a younger audience doesn’t have to be an automatic death sentence. Unfortunately, these filmmakers weren’t interested in telling a story. Sonic the Hedgehog is a below average kids film with the best Jim Carrey performance we’ve seen in years. But you know what? I’ve never had more fun at a movie in my entire life.
It was Valentine’s Day. My friends and I were all single and we needed something to do. So, after throwing on suits and ties, four of Xavier’s most eligible bachelors piled into a car and sped to the theater to see Sonic the Hedgehog. We went in ready to enjoy the movie ironically. I expected to end up hating it. But as we joked, riffed and laughed at this embarrassing movie, something magical happened. Our ironic enjoyment morphed into sincere joy. The combination of our comradery, shared sense of humor and commitment to going all out that night created such a strong euphoria and we didn’t stop smiling through the whole movie. Once the credits started rolling, all four of us stood tall and gave it a round of applause.
So yeah, the movie’s bad. If you’re above the age of five, I’d give this one a skip. But because I saw it with four of my close friends on a truly magical night, you bet I’ll be buying the Blu-Ray as soon as it’s available for pre-order.
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