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THE MOVIE GUY — Sonic brings the inconsequential mayhem

“Sonic the Hedgehog”

Paramount Pictures

Directed by Jeff Fowler

Rated PG

2½ Stars

I’m a little too old to have played the Sonic the Hedgehog video game, but I certainly have plenty of friends who are very excited about the new Sonic movie that hits theaters this weekend. That’s an understatement. Some of my friends are inexplicably obsessed over this cute little character, even though he’s starring in a film that is aimed primarily at their children.

Or their grandchildren.

Speaking on behalf of the sea of very young kids who comprised the majority of last week’s press screening, I’m pleased to report that Sonic the Hedgehog is a lot of fun. Just like the title character, the movie is cute, brightly-colored and filled with non-stop energy.

The kids in the theater seemed to love it, which is obviously the only thing that’s important here. I was less than impressed with this story that doesn’t really do anything other than explain how Sonic came to earth, team him up with a local policeman (James Marsden) and then force him to go on the run from a ruthless government scientist (Jim Carrey).

The action sequences are mostly inconsequential mayhem that hold your attention without ever making you truly worry about the outcome. It’s all so safe and sanitized that the kids won’t stop munching their popcorn out of fear that anything bad might actually happen, even as our heroes are seemingly falling to their deaths from the top of the Transamerica Building in San Francisco.

This is a good thing if you’re a parent wanting to entertain, not traumatize your kids. This is a bad thing if you’re a parent who also wants to be entertained by the movie as Sonic doesn’t have much appeal for anybody older than 10 years of age.

Enter Jim Carrey, who is obviously having a ball playing a character who’s as carefree and crazy as any of the characters from the comedian’s early days. Carrey gets to shout out many of his lines with his particular brand of melodramatic excess. He even gets several dance montages. It’s nice to see Carrey back at 100% crazy once again.

James Marsden doesn’t fare as well, especially as he’s stuck in between Carrey and an animated cartoon creature. He does his best impression of a bland good guy and then gets to work keeping the plot moving along. That’s not a knock on his performance. He knows what his role is, and that kindergarteners aren’t out there clamoring to see the new James Marsden movie.

No, they want to see Sonic running fast, cracking jokes and making the bad guy look silly. By that simple criteria, Sonic the Hedgehog works well enough. Carrey’s bonkers performance also amps the film up a notch or two. Grownups will be bored, but that’s a minor inconvenience for a film that younger kids will enjoy.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.

 

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