In a year full of live-action non-live-action adaptations of the 1990s and '00s, Sonic the HedgehogIt may end up being the most polarizer. Because the first trailer for the premiere of Sega's 27-year feature film shows an unknown image.
In video games, Sonic is a very fast and very blue anthropomorphic hedgehog, and the character is widely accepted as such. Humans do not take into account most of the time; instead, Sonic occupies a world filled with countless friends and frenemies who sport the same combo of "awkward limbs and animal head" he uses.
It's not like this Sonic the Hedgehog, who has James Marsden as a member of the San Francisco Police Department, in charge of tracking the source of a mysterious high-velocity energy wave – Sonic himself, unbeknownst to humans – that the government is concerned about is powerful enough to pose a great threat. But the character of Marsden ends up making friends with the bizarre CGI Sonic of Ben Schwartz and becomes his protector of the many people who want to take advantage of the wild speed of Sonic for itself.
The most serious of these guys is the evil Dr. Robotnik, who plans to use Sonic's powers to rule the world, as bad guys do. He is selected from the video games, in which he is best known as Dr. Eggman for his remarkably oval head and body. But that's not the case here, where Jim Carrey inhabits the role and turns the villain into essentially a character of Jim Carrey – think too loud and too weak.
The result is that Sonic the Hedgehog it does not look like a Sonic movie; instead, the first trailer seems to promise a Jim Carrey comedy. And from the looks of things until now, it's not very funny.
It would always be strange to see a Sonic CG interacting with human actors; in fact, the trailer revealed a version of the hedgehog that is strangely bright (even though, in fact, it is constantly running all over the place; this should be a great workout). However, what's even stranger to a lifelong Sonic fan like me is that Sonic the Hedgehog seems much more concerned with Carrey's Dr. Robotnik than with his title character. Carrey gets closer to provoking any laughter from the trailer, which even ends up in a photo of him wearing an approximation of the iconic visual of his videogame character. The revelation of Sonic himself seems much less exciting – because, it seems, Sonic the Hedgehog it's Jim Carrey's world and we're just living in it.
This is not a hit against the established comedian, who is also a versatile drama actor and political cartoonist. But any resemblance to the original video game franchise that may have existed in this movie seems to have been minimized to get the word out to the movie's best-known star.
Maybe that bodes well for the movie at the box office. But this is not my childhood Sonic the Hedgehog, not siree.
Sonic the Hedgehog is in theaters November 8.