Sonic the Hedgehog is the kind of straight-down-the-middle piece of live-action family entertainment that we just don’t get as often as kids fed on this particular genre in the nineties were once accustomed to. At a certain point in time, it seemed as if audiences on the verge of puberty, but not quite there, were delivered a sports-themed adventure or underdog story featuring kids their own age on an annual basis-whether it was The Sandlot, The Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks, The Big Green, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court or Angel’s in the Outfield-the point is there were plenty of options not only for the youngest of youngsters, but for tweens before people even knew what tweens were. Lately though (and when I say lately I mean the last twenty-five years or so lately) that demographic has been lumped in with the more sophisticated audiences required to digest the lofty animated expectations of studios such as Pixar. That said, having never been a fan or player of Sonic the Hedgehog there was no real emotional or nostalgic connection to the original Sega property or its many animated incarnations over the years. As a live-action adaptation of a popular nineties video game is the closest we get to any of those aforementioned titles these days though, director Jeff Fowler’s feature directorial debut then fills the nostalgic void left by the absence of such titles by default. Fowler and/or Paramount Pictures seems to have known this to be the case thus their main objective becoming to not only entertain the kiddos of today with an updated take on a character they might have seen an episode of or played a game with at one time or another, but also to hone in on the same fan base that threw a fit when the first, original trailer for the film was released and the design of the titular character garnered such backlash that the studio delayed the release of the film and re-designed its CGI star completely. That is to say, not only did Paramount realize there was a large fan base for this property, but a passionate one as well and one that was not only anxious to see a childhood favorite get the live-action treatment, but to re-capture the feelings this character inspired and to re-live this time in their lives that Sonic represents. To this extent, Paramount went the extra mile and hired Jim Carrey to play the role of the antagonist in the evil Dr. Robotnik. This isn’t the Jim Carrey of Mr. Popper's Penguins or even Yes Man though, no, this is the Jim Carrey of The Mask or Ace Ventura as the fifty-eight year-old pulls off his most physically comedic role in what feels like forever to what I can only imagine is the pure joy and delight of thirty year-olds everywhere. It is this combination of Carrey playing the hits combined with the genre re-vamping that leads to Sonic the Hedgehog being as appealing as it ends up being, for despite not having any nostalgic connections to the character itself, these elements make up for this as Fowler’s film more or less accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish and will satisfy any resident of the 16-bit gaming era while still not mustering enough excitement to write home about it…and if I remember anything about The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog from my Saturday morning binges in 1993 that feels about par for the course.

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