Let's start from the inevitable finding that a Sonic movie doesn't make much sense. It is an icon of the nineties that was conceived within the culture of pets poochies of the time, as an answer in plan malote to the white and virgin Mario of Nintendo. His game was speed and debauchery as a spiritual reflection of 'Super Mario Bros.' and its design, from gloves to slippers, going through big eyes, colors or carefree pose, is very tied to its time. The decision to update-without-updating-too much gives rise to a friendly, familiar film, attentive to please forty-year-old fans and also new generations. The surprise is that he succeeds in relative success.
Although the film has to take indisputable freedoms with the canonical history of Sonic (which, on the other hand, It makes no sense except as surreal delirium, so if you have to give it a narrative sense, those freedoms are inevitable), there is an effort to moderately respect its most recognizable characteristics: it expresses itself as a spoiled but adorable child, runs very fast and has an unquestionable tendency to drop golden rings that must be collected later.
This, as we all know, might not have been completely like this: the first tangible reality that came to us from this adaptation was that of a horrendous trailer what unveiled a spooky design, with an almost unrecognizable Sonic, of features disturbingly close to humans. The immediate reaction of the internet, expressing an almost unanimous rejection (even more fascinating than thinking that this version had a green light is to guess what reaction the fans expected in Paramount exactly) forced delay the premiere and redesign the hedgehog.
That redesign entails a question that fans would do (would) do well to ask ourselves: we can agree that compared to the initial design, the new Sonic is blessed glory, so everyone happy (besides, apparently, there were no tears in the process). But … are fans entitled to demand (and get) changes against wind and tide? Is it possible that we are always right? Spoiler obviously not. But while we elucidate it, we can agree that, leaving aside that mouth with human teeth inherited from the previous cronenbergniano design, this Sonic is reasonably Sonic (although not as much as some spectacular fan work).
Both that design and the career effects, and the other character taken from the original franchise, the villain Robotnik, are reasonably well inspired by the games. Although Jim Carrey does not adopt the eccentric and crazy appearance of the Robotnik mustache that we all know until his last steps, the character is moderately recognizable, as are his gadgets, his dress and his behavior. The film strives to give a reasonable origin to many icons of the games, from the Sonic Nemesis jacket to the hero's own red and white shoes, going through his obsession with the golden rings (undoubtedly the most caught by the hairs).
Better the more Sonic
That is, the film is right the closer to the original source. Something that does not have to be a universal rule, but here it is, for a simple reason: when he distances himself from the world of speed without Sonic's plot excuse, the film becomes a family adventure film With hedgehog on board, he loses what makes the franchise special. Although even in those cases, the film exhibits an unusual sympathy in this type of productions: without a doubt the good vibes that James Marsden and Tika Sumpter transmit, despite the conventionality of their roles, is partly to blame.
'Sonic. The film 'does not have the ambition of' Detective Pikachu 'to build a universe of certain complexity
The film constantly moves between the two waters: a video game in a fantastic environment more or less obvious is referenced here as an extraterrestrial planet replicated in the introduction of the film with relative fidelity. But then the movie happens to be set on our planet, with what Sonic transforms into a hidden alien in an American town where he doesn't relate to anyone. His need to find friends, his outgoing character and his persecution by the Government will be the trigger for a small-scale adventure whose greatest virtue is in his modesty.
That is, 'Sonic. The movie 'has no ambition to 'Detective Pikachu' to build a universe of a certain complexity where the coexistence between humans and Pokémon makes sense. Here we have a perfectly digestible story of “fish out of water”, but told with remarkable sympathy. Even if you miss something less than moralina and some more action, there are enough jokes about Sonic going at full speed so that the rhythm does not decline. The best, although it tastes like a reheated dish, a fight in a bar that combines Tim Burton's 'The Great Pee Wee Adventure' and Mercury's scenes from 'X-Men: Days of the Future Past'.
The best thing is that 'Sonic. The movie 'understands certain video game dynamics, and manages to show a climate-style fight final boss, and sometimes it even looks aesthetic, as in the sequence in which Sonic plays baseball with himself, and that includes a well spun tribute to the origins of animated cinema. They are small details that do not make the film an essential, but that make it preferable to most of the heartless productions of this jaez.
And as icing, of course, Jim Carrey. Although it is not the best Carrey we have seen, if it is a pleasure to meet again with the insane deranged of the good times, energetic and away from the (also memorable, but for other reasons) roles that he is playing in recent times, as in the wonderful 'Kidding'. Here he dances, shouts and improvises in a paper made to measure. It is not the perfect Carrey (unfortunately, the edition and the very nature of the film limit its whirlwind mode), but a Robotnik far superior to what one would expect.
How to adapt (well) a video game
Unfortunately, middle fans are used to suffer adaptations of very low quality or that, directly, have nothing to do with the original video games. Some of the first attempts to adapt video games to the cinema, such as 'Super Mario Bros.' or 'Street Fighter' They have become anti-classics for the wrong reasons, and we have ended up getting used to prefer adaptations such as 'Resident Evil' or 'Mortal Kombat', where their greatest virtue is their open commitment to stay within certain grateful limits.
In the end, the best video game adaptations are those that do not adapt any concrete, but assimilate their language and their codes: movies like 'Shoot-em up ',' Crank ',' Hardcore Henry 'or' Scott Pilgrim against the world 'do not focus on any specific video game, but they know how to understand them and reinterpret them. 'Sonic. The film 'is an official adaptation, of course, but with its jovial and carefree avalanche of winks and its honest attempt to translate Sonic's speed into images, it is closer to these than to Uwe Boll's maneuvers by drawing four lines plot in movies random.
In this way, the winks of 'Sonic. The film 'gives the sensation of a universe of fiction more cohesive than many other previous adaptations, too focused on adapting a specific and recognizable moment of a game, and dressing everything else. Here we find a machine gun of tributes, visual jokes, winks in the background that go from calling Eggman to Robotnik (his original Japanese name, although he later officially adopted both) to some delicious final credits (and his corresponding nod to the sequel) which include reformulations of scenes from the movie, one with tribute included to the 3D phases of 'Sonic the Hedgehog 3'.
The personality of Sonic, turned into a character thought not to dazzle forties but to speak the language of the millennials, rounds in a way the proposal, which does not want to be a massage for old players, but a genuine update of the character. Sonic dances the 'Fortnite' and jokes about YouTube because that's what an impertinent kid would do … What Sonic was in the nineties, to begin with. Perhaps that resignation, little conformist, to please the fans of the old guard (to whom in any case he pleads with a good marabunta of winks to the old days) is his best asset, and the certificate that the character has been Updated successfully.
'Sonic. The movie 'is not the definitive video game movie (a purpose that, for starters, self-devours itself), but it is a nice, inconsequential and effective approach to an icon that works adapted to the new times. Of course, something more formal risk would have been preferable and, since we are, a somewhat less stale anti-urban message, but given the precedents, and as the subject could have ended, the result is more than remarkable.