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Sonic The Hedgehog finally spin-dashes into cinemas around the world tomorrow, February 14th. But ahead of the big day, a number of critics have already been treated to a look at the blue blur in action, and have delivered their verdict on the live-action video game adaptation.
Would you believe we have a bit of a good news/bad news situation? The good news is that it seems, based on the majority of the reviews, that the film isn't quite as awful as it could have been. The bad news is that the consensus is still that it's a little bit awful. Just not that awful.
Our very own Mike Diver and Julian Benson were "lucky" enough to see the film ahead of release earlier this week. You can listen to their full thoughts on the feature below, but the main takeaway is that it "isn't quite as bad as Super Mario Bros," so that's... something. Mike also reasons that Jim Carrey's Dr Robotnik is provides some solid slapstick comedy, and that kids will definitely get a lot more out of it than older audience members. To be fair, I think we were all expecting that to be the case, weren't we?
Other reviews were slightly less kind, with many suggesting that the well-publicised last-minute redesign of the character and subsequent delay of the movie have done little to fix what was always an inherently flawed piece of work
A two-star review for The Independent noted that Carrey was able to bring some "much-needed" edge to the movie, and that Ben Schwartz "nailed" the squeaky voice of Sonic. Unfortunately, they concluded that it was fairly unremarkable, and ultimately forgettable.
Eurogamer shared a similar sentiment, blasting the movie as "a charmless cut-and-paste job" which fails to do justice to the iconic gaming mascot.
"It's not that the Sonic movie is bad, although it's certainly not good," they wrote. "It's that it was a terrible idea from the start. It's a formulaic cut-and-paste job from a Hollywood so starved of intellectual property that it will try making a movie about any recognisable character it can get its hands on - without asking who he is or why people liked him in the first place."
The Guardian also "awarded" the blue blur's big screen debut with two stars out of five. Again, Carrey walks away with most of the praise for his dastardly version of Robotnik, while dismissing the rest of the film as a "rush job". A bit of a slap in the face for the talented team that worked their arses off on the last-minute redesign, that.
It was another two-star review from Empire. The publication took issue with the "bland bromance" between Sonic and James Marsden's character, while adding that the movie "underwhelms" whenever Carrey isn't on screen. I'm sensing a pattern here.
Elsewhere, Variety described Sonic as a "clunky live-action adventure comedy with a digitally animated generic weisenheimer plopped into the middle of it," which I guess means they didn't really like it.
The good news is that not everyone was as sniffy about the movie. The Verge said that Sonic is "too cute not to love," and should go down as a fine family flick.
GamesRadar and IGN gave the film 3/5 and 7/10 scores respectively in much more positive reviews, with IGN noting that it's an entertaining ride for Sonic fans, "boosted by solid performances from Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik".
Let's be honest - I don't think any of us, for even one second, expected a live-action movie based on Sonic would be amazing, did we? I am, as much as I try to deny it, a Sonic fan, and will definitely be heading to the cinema tomorrow to check it out for myself. If a dumb but ultimately fun adventure starring Jim Carrey chasing a cartoon hedgehog is what I get, I'll be pretty happy.
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