When I see that a movie coming out is based on a video game, my PTSD from sitting through video game-inspired movies during the '90s, like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter or Super Mario Bros. begins to itch. That's why it was a relief that Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the Sega video game, is a diverting little comedy.
Sonic, a blue alien hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) who has supersonic speed, escapes to Earth and lives a quiet life in a forest on the outskirts of a small Montana town. Eventually, he is discovered, and crazed scientist Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey in fine scenery-chewing form) is brought in to catch and dissect him. Sonic needs to retrieve his bag of magic gold rings, which allow him to transport to different places. To complete this task, the blue extraterrestrial seeks the help from the local sheriff, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden).
First-time feature director Jeff Fowler's movie is colorful, and the computer- generated Sonic (redesigned after massive backlash when the original trailer dropped) is an endearing character.
A scene at a roadhouse bar, where Sonic is shown in slowed down mode tripping up a bunch of yahoos, isn't as funny or clever as the Quicksilver time in a bottle sequence in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but-no pun intended-Sonic the Hedgehog moves at a fast past and if one gag doesn't work, the next one will.
For all its visual gags and effects, the best part of Sonic is that it crackles with funny dialog. Yes, it's the amusing back-and-forth between the characters that makes this work. Who knew?