The following article contains spoilers for Sonic the Hedgehog.
It was a Friday night. I had just finished watching The Replacements for this week’s episode of The Plotaholics Podcast. Admittedly, I had a few during that movie. The Replacements is a ton of fun, and I had a ton of fun watching it–to the tune of several whiskey and Cokes made with Wild Turkey 101, the unofficial sponsor of all of my movie nights and bad decisions.
So, the movie was winding down and I checked the local AMC for showtimes and saw that Sonic the Hedgehog was starting soon! I could make it to the 10:20 PM showing, if I could just hurry! And also if Uber could run just a few more cars in town! And also if people new what they wanted in the concession line!
So, flask in pocket, I loaded up in the Uber with my lady, and off we went to see Sonic.
Now, much has been made of the Sonic redesign. We all know the story of how a trailer was released and we were all brought together–all of humanity–by the common enemy of whatever the hell this was:
Whatever it was, it made us all join together and rage against the design until the studio promised to make it better.
And they did! Sonic looks good, man. He’s fast, but he looks good.
So, I sit down with some chicken fingers and a large soda just as the movie is starting, and I am immediately transported to a magical wonderland. Here is everything I remember from watching Sonic the Hedgehog while, admittedly, smashed.
Sonic lives in the world from the video game! That’s super cool. He’s really fast and (shocker) a cute baby. Babies are so “in” right now–Baby Yoda, Baby Mr. Peanut, and now Baby Sonic. Get this cute-ass baby Sonic out of my face, movie.
Sonic runs home. His mom is…an owl? Maybe it’s not his mom, but it’s definitely a bird. She’s very matronly. Oh! And Sonic was being chased because…I think because he’s fast and…someone (everyone?) wants to find a way to harness that power. Maybe.
So Sonic’s mom, the owl, teaches Sonic how to travel between worlds. Guess what? It’s the RINGS! Sonic’s freaking rings from the games allow him to travel from world to world. Mama Owl warns Baby Sonic that he’ll always be on the run (ha!) because someone will always want to steal whatever it is that makes him fast…or something. Maybe because he’s different. Who knows?
Next, Sonic is in a place that I think is the Pacific Northwest. He lives in a cave or something outside of a small town…I want to say it’s called Mumpsville maybe. Or Dunwallop. Okay. I just looked it up, and Sonic is living in a cave in Green Hills, Montana. So…close enough.
Sonic likes fucking with the locals and is kind of way into a local cop that he calls “Donut Lord” because <starts laughing> because cops <laughing more> love <barely holding it together> donuts.
So then Sonic runs around and plays baseball by himself because he’s a lonely sad sack of shit that makes his own fun. Unfortunately, all of this horsin’ around means that Sonic is running super fast, which…charges up his fur and triggers an electronic…pulse (?) surge (?) that knocks out all the power in a large part of the country.
This raises a lot of eyebrows. Is it terrorists? Is it…something else? Let’s investigate! The government sends their best guy–Doctor Robotnik. Robotnik is a mad scientist that somehow works for the U.S. government and has an army of really advanced drones and self-driving cars.
Oh! And the cop from earlier found one of Sonic’s blue furs, but I don’t remember when. It was in the bushes on the side of the road, I think.
Sonic is chased to his cave by some drones, I think, and he decides it’s time to dip out. He packs up and leaves the cave and hides in the cop’s…what do you call that thing that is like a garage but you don’t put cars in it? A detached garage? My dad called his a “shop,” but it’s really just an on-property storage facility. Anyway, Sonic is about to use a ring to go to some mushroom world (Mario?) when the cop finds him and tranquilizes him.
Later, Robotnik shows up and Sonic and the cop decide they are friends, so it’s time for a road trip.
OH! This is a big deal. So, the rings take Sonic wherever because somebody says the name of a place before they are used, right? So, somehow, when Sonic is falling asleep, all of his other rings fall through the one BIG ring and end up in San Francisco. The road trip is to get the rings back.
And at some point Robotnik finds that piece of blue fur and uses it in his flying machine to make it fast and powerful. This doesn’t happen until the end, but I wanted to make sure I remembered to put it down.
The second act of the movie is The Bucket List meets Roadhouse.
The central emotional tension of the movie is over whether or not people should aspire for something more. The thesis of the movie seems to be “no, we shouldn’t aspire for something more.” Sonic hates that he’s having to leave. The cop, who just got a job offer in San Francisco, is excited to leave. They all end up staying. Blah.
There is a bar fight, though. And the cop is named enemy of the state. Sonic gets hurt somehow and the cop’s girlfriend/ wife/ fiance (I really don’t know which) is a veterinarian (how lucky!). She patches him up and then we fight Robotnik again for the third or fifth time. Finally, Robotnik is sent to the mushroom world through one of the rings, which means everybody can stay in sad-ass Green Hills, or wherever. Hooray for stagnation!
The movie was honestly more fun than I thought it would be. It’s pretty wild, though. Sonic’s mom is an OWL! The movie goes how one would expect, but it’s not all bad. Some of the speed-up/ slow-down stuff is actually really cool. Give it a watch and see what you think.