The highly anticipated – and now infamous – Sonic the Hedgehog movie has officially been released on February 14th, and has already been watched by tons of people over the past few days.
Before release, you would have been hard-pressed to find someone who was not at least aware of this cinematic adaptation of the fan-favorite SEGA character. The initial reaction to the less-than-well-received design of Sonic in the movie’s first trailer, and the subsequent redesign that saw the titular hedgehog look much more like his video game counterpart, were at the center of most of the attention the film garnered ahead of its release. There was also the ever-looming fear and expectation that the Sonic the Hedgehog movie would be the latest video-game based film that would crash and burn like so many had before it.
However, despite the initial controversy, audience reviews have been surprisingly positive for the high-profile film. It looks like a new generation of Sonic fans may have even been born from the young viewers who have gone with their families and friends to see the big-screen adaptation of the faster-than-light character. Though this healthy level of positivity from viewers doesn’t mean there weren’t some roastable offenses that people had no problem jumping on for some chuckles. With this interesting range of reception revealing itself following release, we decided to cut through the clutter and round up some of the best reactions to the Sonic the Hedgehog movie just for you.
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Sonic Defies Expectations
You wouldn’t have been alone if you thought this particular film wasn’t going to bring in the big bucks when it came to the box office. This preconceived notion was quickly debunked, however, with the Sonic the Hedgehog movie setting the record for the highest opening for a video game adaptation, beating out the likes of Detective Pikachu. Adam Tuff put this shocking result into astronomical proportion when he explained that everyone alive right now is lucky to be around for this particular film setting this impressive record.
The Universe has existed for approximately 13.8 billion years, but you were lucky enough to be alive during the time when the Sonic the Hedgehog movie released in cinemas to become the most successful video game adaption of all time #SonicMovie pic.twitter.com/4o2nxyD2WH
— Adam Tuff (@agtuff) February 16, 2020
The creators of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie were no doubt hoping long-time fans of the character would enjoy the newest version of the iconic speedster on the big screen, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t also want to introduce Sonic to a younger generation who didn’t exactly grow up with the character. SonicWindBlue on Twitter commented on the joy they felt seeing kids at the theater enjoying themselves and how they’ll now have the chance to create plenty of memories with Sonic in the same way older fans have done for years.
One of the best part during the #SonicMovie were the kids in the cinema hall. They celebrated, cheered and really had a great time. It reminded me so much of my own childhood. They started their adventure with Sonic and I'm sure they'll create awesome memories with the blue blur. pic.twitter.com/5ijkoN9tS5
— SonicWindBlue (@SonicWindBlue) February 17, 2020
Marvel showed the world that a cinematic universe can be a masterpiece when done right. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) inspired Raf Grassetti to create a jaw-dropping piece of art showing off multiple Nintendo characters with realistic designs in the same manner that Sonic received for the recently released film. A Nintendo Cinematic Universe would no doubt have the makings to deliver countless blockbusters if done right. Wouldn’t you like to eventually see a Super Smash Bros. movie in the style of the Avengers?
— Raf Grassetti 👾✍🏻 (@rafagrassetti) February 16, 2020
The Big Burns
Now, Sonic the Hedgehog movie was a pleasant surprise for many. However, it did feature some questionable scenes that led to plenty of opportunities for some quality roasting. One of the most questioned aspects of the film was the blatant product placement for Olive Garden and Zillow. You can argue that the movie was self-aware and just didn’t try to hide these instances of product placement. Still, the attempt to acknowledge and get a laugh out of the characters proclaiming their fondness for Olive Garden and Zillow did not land exceptionally well for plenty of viewers, which was evident by the sarcastic and hilarious real-estate based comments from the two individuals below:
Just saw the Sonic movie and wow! I sure am hungry for a Never Ending Pasta Bowl® from Olive Garden!
— Jacob 🌙 (@Alpharad) February 15, 2020
the only thing in the Sonic movie that made me laugh was the suggestion that you can find a nice two-story house in San Francisco for $4,000 a month on Zillow Dot Com
— Nick Robinson (@Babylonian) February 15, 2020
Perhaps it’s a bit much to think a family-friendly movie based on Sonic the Hedgehog could deliver a thrilling plot that would leave moviegoers and critics analyzing it for weeks and weeks after watching. Yet, this idea didn’t stop David Sims of the Atlantic from delivering a brutal assessment of the staying power of the movie (or lack of) for himself. “It’s not the cavalcade of horror promised by that first trailer, but rather the kind of bad movie one forgets instantly upon leaving the theater,” said Simms in his review.
The disturbing and oddly human-like teeth Sonic once sported in his initial design from the first trailer led to plenty of confusion, frustration, and memes, and caused many to believe that this video game adaptation was destined to fail horribly from the beginning. While the redesign of Sonic towards his more traditional appearance led to a much more appealing set of teeth, Brian Lowry of CNN stated that it was not enough to save the movie from going nowhere at an alarming and disappointing speed. “Sonic the Hedgehog might move like a bolt of lightning once his feet start flying, but even with the orthodontia done to correct his chompers, the movie bearing his name still goes nowhere, fast,” Lowry explains his review of the film.
No matter if you enjoyed the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, or thought its enthusiastic product placement and weak story was too much for it to recover from, this particular film will undoubtedly continue to grab the attention of video game fans and moviegoers for the foreseeable future. It could also open up the door for future pieces of cinema to deliver our favorite gaming characters to the big screen, whether it be for good or bad.
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Nicholas Barth is a lover of all games but has cultivated a particularly powerful fondness for first-person shooters and battle royales over the years. You can find him either writing to help players understand their favorite games better or diving deep into an esports scene that he knows he has no chance of being good enough to compete in himself. You can find him on Twitter @budah62.