Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Movies based on video games tend to be a mixed bag.  Pokémon had more than a few movies come out.  Pokémon Detective Pikachu was a pretty good movie.  I’m assuming that the others performed well enough.  I remember the Super Mario Brothers movie not doing as well.  I’ve never seen it but I seem to recall hearing that it bombed hard and with just cause.

Enter Sonic the Hedgehog.  It looks like someone got the idea to dust off some old Sega cartridges and see what they could do.  Nostalgia factor?  Check.  Characters that seem to stay true to the video game?  Check.  Original plot that has nothing to do with the video game?  Check.

On the one hand, the story is pretty generic.  It fits the very definition of paint by numbers.  [Insert hero name] goes from [place] to [place].  [Hero] gets help from [soon-to-be best friend].  They have to accomplish [goal].  Along the way, they are chased by [villain].

It’s exactly the kind of movie that sets itself up for some friendly joking.  The “I have no idea” scene has all the markings of a short-lived meme.  In fact, I would suggest maybe redubbing some of Sonic’s scenes with other celebrities, much like the scenes of Darth Vader with the voice of Samuel L. Jackson.  I could very much see Jimmy Fallon having Wallace Shawn on his show for just that purpose.  (I’d say Christopher Walken, but I don’t think that would work as well as Shawn would.  Danny DeVito, maybe.)

Don’t get me wrong.  The movie is entertaining.  There aren’t a lot of great jokes.  There aren’t any unforeseen plot twists.  In fact, there were fewer plot twists than I expected.  It’s one of those movies where if you’ve seen the coming attractions, you can guess how the movie plays out.  It’s the kind of movie you can enjoy if someone else is paying for it.


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