Sonic the Hedgehog Movie: Oddly Not Terrible, But Has Nauseating Product Placement

It's been an exhausting process for the folks involved with 'Sonic the Hedgehog' following the outrage over the design of the character in the movie's first trailer. After a few months of delays, they've finally reached the finish line with the movie in theaters. Was it worth the wait? Let's discuss...

Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend -- a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination.

Jeff D Lowe (67/100): Following a long delay for the beloved character, it's great to see 'Sonic the Hedgehog' isn't a total dud, but it does come packed with some of the most obnoxious product placement in recent memory. Despite a handful of issues, I would go as far as to say that 'Sonic' avoids the usual trend of disastrous video game movies.

I have to start with the product placement. Do I want to be negative right out of the gates with this movie? No, but there is an egregious callout for the real estate website Zillow in the beginning of the movie, so this only felt right. The Olive Garden references are very hard to miss and, honestly, if you do, you probably weren't paying attention. I get that product placement is essential with making big-budget movies and there's a chance it helped bankroll the expensive changes made to the Sonic design in the movie. However, it sticks out so much in this movie that I just found it distracting at times.

Speaking of elements in this movie being "distracting" the biggest question mark going in was how well does Sonic work as a character. Obviously, the character re-design was a huge deal…

I am happy to report that the character works, for the most part, pretty well! It's a lot like the 'Detective Pikachu' movie in a sense that it doesn't look perfect at times but the character slips very well into the real world. So long as the character wasn't distracting, people would be pleased, and I think that's the case here.

The movie is a great deal of fun and that's the best thing that can be said about it. James Marsden plays off of Ben Schwartz's Sonic nicely, so you'll enjoy the lead characters, but Jim Carrey should delight everyone (unless you're Tommy Lee Jones). It feels like old-school 1990s Jim Carrey, so, if you enjoy that sort of thing, you'll get a nice blast from the past. On the downside, the movie is rather thin in terms of story and complexity. There are some good laughs, but the excitement and pace of the movement is what keeps it on the positive side of the rating scale. It isn't exactly a kid's movie and isn't a movie just for adults, so it toes the line in a bit of a no man's land in terms of depth and originality. 'Sonic the Hedgehog', for better or worse, is a safe movie.

In the end, 'Sonic the Hedgehog' will probably exceed most people's expectations, but with those set relatively low, it likely won't be a movie many remember by the year's end.

KenJac (70/100): I was initially very hesitant about this movie. The trailers were all bad, there was the obvious issue with Sonic looking like garbage and the subsequent delay to redo his look, and I’m also just not a huge Sonic guy. Much more of a Crash Bandicoot guy myself. That said, I was very pleasantly surprised by this movie! It’s goofy, fun activity that isn’t too cringy. That’s basically all I could have asked for!


I’ve liked Ben Schwartz a ton since his days as Jean-Ralphio in ‘Parks & Recreation’, and he did a great job as the titular character. I don’t feel like James Marsden or Tika Sumpter added a ton to the film, as they were more vessels for Sonics comedy. I’m a little split on Jim Carrey’s performance. At times it’s WAY too much, but at other times it really works! I randomly want to shout out Adam Pally, who cracked me up every time he was on screen. 

The humor hits, like, 40% of the time and that’s enough for me. It’s accompanied with well-paced action, solid visual effects, and a coherent plot-line. Do you know how rare that is for video game movies? Extremely. The film is obviously geared towards kids, but it's a fun watch even as an adult. 

The movie is not yet Officially Buttered, or the other way around, as we wait for Trillballins' score… but it is going to be close. You can hear our full review of the movie on this week's upcoming Lights Camera Barstool. Make sure to rate all 2020 and 2019 movies on a scale of 0-100 in the links below…

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