Home Video

Sonic the Hedgehog - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Film Details

  • Art

Sonic The Hedgehog

What Coronavirus couldn’t stop, the angry Twitter mobs nearly did.

After a brief delay to tweak the look of the main character and work on some of the visual effects, the movie adaptation of the classic Sega video game Sonic the Hedgehog finally hit cinemas in mid-February of this year, just a few weeks before movie theaters nationwide went dark in the shadow of the impending Covid-19 pandemic. A close call for sure, but by that time, the film had already pulled in a healthy $150 million, likely putting it in the black and avoiding the financial disaster of several other films released in the weeks following.

"Off to a horrible start back in 2019 with angry fans, a three-month-plus delay, and a looming pandemic threatening to close theaters, Sonic the Hedgehog should have been a total disaster, but instead turns out to be something totally different."


But even before that close shave, there was the butt-hurt horde of Sonic Twitter followers who stomped and complained so hard about the sketchy look of the Sonic character and the film’s questionable visuals that the project was nearly canned until its director Jeff Fowler swayed Paramount to embrace a rework which reportedly cost the studio an extra $5 million.

With his new look and a renewed vibrancy, the little blue-haired ball of fury took theaters by storm and is now ready to take on your home theater system thanks to Paramount Home Video. This may be the rare case in which the angry fans were right, because Sonic the Hedgehog looks great with no significant visual flaws and even though nearly everything about it rarely rises above basic, is a sweet little film that is always fun and lively and never takes itself too seriously.

The film opens as we meet Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz, Parks and Recreation) in danger on his home planet before he is quickly teleported to Earth – specifically Green Hills, Montana, where he spends his days alone avoiding earthly beings… lest he find himself right back in the same danger that brought him to Earth in the first place. Apparently, government and military officials are fascinated by his arsenal of super powers and set out on endless quest to catch the little bugger. {googleads}

As the loneliness of his life in hiding begins to set in, Sonic inadvertently sets off a huge electromagnetic pulse which not only causes a total blackout to the Pacific Northwest, but also gets the attention of legal authorities who bring in the big guns in the form of the evil mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) who spends the entire film on the heels of the speedy rodent. With the help of newfound friend and police officer Tom Wachowski (James Marsdan, Hairspray) Sonic hopes to avoid the evil clutches of Dr. Robotnik.

Sonic the Hedgehog never breaks any boundaries, and, in fact, trods plenty of familiar territory as an oddball buddy flick, an awkward fish-out-of-water tale, and an adventurous road trip movie as Sonic and Officer Tom head out to San Francisco to fetch a bag of lifesaving golden rings.Sonic The Hedgehog

Fowler keeps things zipping along at an engaging pace, but manages to find a sweet humanity between the film’s numerous action scenes. Fans of the video games will also find plenty to adore as Fowler keeps the pop culture and video game references coming at a fun and lively pace. Even so, it’s the return to the familiar antics of Carrey that prove to be the film’s ace in the hole as the rubber-faced funny man brings his signature act to the role of the villain while never over-doing it. His restraint here is unquestionably his biggest strength.

Off to a horrible start back in 2019 with angry fans, a three-month-plus delay, and a looming pandemic threatening to close theaters, Sonic the Hedgehog should have been a total disaster, but instead turns out to be something totally different. With light and airy themes of friendship, the need to follow one’s dreams, and the importance of home, Sonic the Hedgehog deserves another run. Check it out now on blu-ray, DVD and digital streaming… and never stop running!

3/5 stars

Sonic The Hedgehog

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Paramount
Available on Blu-ray
- May 20, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Swedish: Dolby Digital 5.1French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy; Digital Code
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The good folks over at Paramount Home Video have done a bang-up job in bringing our favorite anthropomorphic hedgehog home. The care they've taken is readily evident in the blu-ray + DVD + Digital edition that features a hi-def and a standard def (DVD) version of the film and comes with a big bundle of bonus material and a limited edition comic book.

The blue eco-case comes housed in a cardboard slip-cover with a beautifully embossed graphic on the front. Slipped between the outer sleeve and plastic case is a nifty, glossy-printed 12-page comic book called Sonic the Hedgehog: The Adventures of Sonic & Donut Lord that takes Sonic and officer Tom on a fun new adventure.

Video

Sonic the Hedgehog is a beautiful film that combines live-action with animation yet never draws attention to the fact that Sonic was added in post-production. The character's incorporation is seamless and not once did any trickery come to my attention.

The 1080p 2.39:1 presentation is beautiful with clean, crisp visuals that rarely falter. On the visual side, the film's strength is in its fantastical world-building and the transfer captures it perfectly in hi-def splendor. Colors are bright, well-saturated and consistent throughout, while skin tones are true and accurate. Things really come to life when the action shifts to inside Dr. Robotnik's traveling laboratory of doom with its bright lights and whiz-bang gizmos that will undoubtedly show any weaknesses in your home video system.

Audio

Your whole house will get in on the action afforded by the Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks that keep every inch of your room bathed in one piece of the action or another as Sonic skitters from scene to scene while Dr. Robotnik's drones whiz about the place. The bar fight scene is particularly memorable with the rears carrying much of the load as plates and tables smash from behind and above. This is the kind of movie made for high end home video systems.

Also included are Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Swedish: Dolby Digital 5.1; and French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length commentary with director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz

Special Features:

Paramount didn't stop there. They've put the same love into the extras with a feature-length commentary, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, cast and crew interviews, a music video, and on-set visits. And let's not forget the 12-page limited edition comic book. All in all, this is a very nice bundle of bonus material. The Sonic the Hedgehog Blu-ray + DVD + Digital is a strong recommend for both lovers of the video games and the blu-ray format itself.

  • Around the World in 80 Seconds—See Sonic's next adventure!
  • Deleted Scenes—Director Jeff Fowler introduces deleted scenes
  • Bloopers—Laugh along with Jim Carrey and the cast
  • "Speed Me Up" Music Video
  • For the Love of Sonic—Jim Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them
  • Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey—See Jim Carrey bring supervillain Dr. Robotnik to life
  • The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic—Explore the origins of the legendary Blue Blur
  • Sonic On Set—Visit the set with the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

{googleads}

Sonic The Hedgehog

MPAA Rating: PG for action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild language.
Runtime:
99 mins
Director
: Jeff Fowler
Writer:
Pat Casey, Josh Miller
Cast:
Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey
Genre
: Comedy | Family
Tagline:
Every hero has a genesis.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm wet, I'm cold, there's a fish on my head, and clearly I'm not gonna be able to do this on my own!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site: https://www.paramountmovies.com/movies/sonic-the-hedgehog
Release Date:
February 14, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 20, 2020.
Synopsis: After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help him defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on him.

{googleads}

Sonic The Hedgehog

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes