Column: Awful writing ruined “Sonic” movie

Logan Raschke, Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: This review contains some spoilers for the 2020 “Sonic The Hedgehog” movie, as well as complaints about screaming children in movie theaters. Read at your own discretion.

Have you ever slept at a movie theater because a film was so boring, but you couldn’t get that deep REM sleep because children were screaming, coughing (no hand over mouth) and talking the entire time? I was that sad, regretful movie-goer on Feb. 28 when I went to see “Sonic The Hedgehog.”

I wasn’t planning on reviewing this movie, but I felt compelled to do so after this last weekend, which is why this review is two weeks after the official release.

It was one of the most annoying, disappointing and boring experiences I’ve had at a movie theater in a while.

I couldn’t even fall asleep at the theater. The aggravating orchestra of children and adults talking while relentlessly pulverizing their bags of chips was too distracting.

Let me break down why the movie is so lackluster; think of all the typical clichéd storytelling in children’s movies.

You have the quirky pet creature (Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz) who’s actually some alien thing with a half-baked backstory. He meets the dad-material guy Tom (played by James Marsden), who’s pretty damn boring because of the one-dimensional writing. He will inevitably save Sonic from the evil Dr. Robotnik (played by Jim Carey), who must be tired from carrying the whole movie.

There’s a meaningless bar fight with the only cool scene in the movie (the one where Sonic is so fast, he basically stops time). Sonic and Tom go on an unmemorable adventure to San Francisco to fetch a plot device, Dr. Robotnik trails behind them the whole time and there’s a big continuity error before the climax (Sonic can’t just run up the building where the plot device is located to end the movie, but he can run down the building to save his friends? Why?). There’s, of course, the teased farewell between Tom and Sonic, but uh oh, Dr. Robotnik’s here now, guess it’s time to have a lame action sequence. But oh no, Sonic is dead. Cue in Tom’s “He was my friend” speech, which revives his cute pet, and then Sonic saves the day. But that’s not it; Sonic gets to stay with his new best friend. Now isn’t that just the sweetest?

No. It’s not. It’s uninspired and boring.

The movie might have been saved if the relationship between Sonic and Tom was better developed, but it wasn’t. The comedy was reduced mostly to slapstick. I thought Carey’s performance might get a chuckle out of me, but it didn’t. Even he got tiresome to watch.

You can hurl the it’s-just-a-kids’-movie, so-get-over-it argument at me, but I don’t care. I’m tired of seeing lazy writing justified by million-dollar movie studios and the public at large because they’re “kids’ movies.” That is not a valid excuse for making a bad movie.

I’d also argue that it isn’t wholeheartedly a “kids’ movie.” This film definitely panders to an audience of Sonic fans who grew up with the original Sega games. Those people are my age, and I grew up with those games, too. I wasn’t impressed at all.

Also, on a side note, have times really changed so much since I was a child that parents don’t care about their children yelling over the movie so often, so loudly, that other watchers can’t hear the dialogue for half the movie? If I was one of those children 10 years ago, my parents would either just give me “the look” and I’d shut up quick, or they’d tell me off in the theater.

Don’t see the new “Sonic” movie. If it wasn’t for that desperately needed redesign of Sonic, I wouldn’t even be bothered to see it.

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]