A couple of weeks ago, we were treated (to use that word very loosely) to the first official trailer for Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film. Based on the Sega video game franchise of the same name, the film is directed by Jeff Fowler and written by Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, and Oren Uziel, from a story by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser. Sonic the Hedgehog will star Ben Schwartz as the voice of the titular character and Jim Carrey as Sonic’s nemesis Doctor Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik. They’ll be joined by James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Neal McDonough and Adam Pally. The plot of the film centers around a sheriff helping Sonic escape from the government that is led by Robotnik. Check out the trailer below and look at the like and dislike ratio while you’re at it.
The reason why I’m just now writing about this trailer is because I wanted to wait after I saw and reviewed Detective Pikachu which is another film based on a video game. Based off of the trailer, this Sonic film looks like it has set video game movies back at least 30 years. This still from the trailer appears to be the moment that Sonic looked in the mirror and saw what “the producers of The Fast and The Furious” created:
Even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had to ask the question:
This poorly designed Sonic has a textbook look of confusion. His eyes are questioning everything it has ever seen, the Blue Blur has become a blur to himself as he’s processing an image that has bestowed upon the mirror. His jaw-dropping and wide open mouth are signs of disbelief that Paramount will try to cash grab a video gaming icon in this manner. If you’re going to try and cash grab nostalgia, at least make it adorable and not creepy. No shame. No shame at all. Once Sonic’s brain processed the image, the primal scream of realizing what Sonic is seeing was captured here:
AND WE ALL FEEL YOU SONIC!!! You deserve better than whatever this sick joke is. Luckily, director Jeff Fowler has listened to the backlash the film received after the release of the trailer Tweeted this:
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
Hopefully, there will be enough time for the visual effects team to give Sonic a redesign that doesn’t look rushed or sloppy. On another note, the Sonic theme is a staple of video game culture and choosing Coolio’s hit-single “Gangsta’s Paradise” as the soundtrack to the trailer was another terrible choice. If you’re not going to choose a song from Sonic at the very least, make it fit the tone of the film, if they had to use that song then make an 8-bit version.
As for the villain, Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik acts like he just walked off the set of ***insert the title of one of Jim Carrey’s 1990s comedies here*** and I do not mean that in a good way. He’s too campy in this trailer and doesn’t capture the essence of Eggman. Nothing about this trailer made it feel like it was made by someone that likes Sonic as a property, instead everything from start to finish looks mishandled. Assuming that the before and after photos of Robotnik are going to make the final cut of the film, it’s easy to assume that this movie will be an origin story for the character because he ends up with his bald head and trademark mustache.
Based on that still, they somewhat have Eggman’s look down which, I guess, is a good sign. If Fowler’s visual effects team can create a Sonic that doesn’t look like an abomination, then the movie may end up being tolerable. Maybe the trailer was just a marketing stunt to get people talking about the film to create a buzz. All I know is that the Sega Dreamcast didn’t die for its flagship character to be handled on the big screen this way.
Sonic The Hedgehog is scheduled to be released in theaters on November 8, 2019.
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