Sonic the Hedgehog
When Sonic the Hedgehog comes out of the gate, it has the makings of what could wind up being an early frontrunner for year’s worst. It’s irritating, it’s unoriginal, and it features multiple jokes about cops eating donuts, as if we haven’t heard those before. Then Jim Carrey shows up as the villain, and almost saves the whole damn thing. Almost. Sonic, the videogame character so beloved that his fanbase rallied to have his likeness corrected after an abysmal look in the original trailer, is voiced by Ben Schwartz. While this incarnation definitely looks better than that first mess Paramount Pictures tried to get past the masses, he’s still a grating presence. Sorry, Mr. Schwartz, but your voice is nails on a chalkboard. A brief prelude shows Sonic being sent to Earth by a heroic owl, left alone in his cave with a bag of gold rings that provide gateways to other worlds. After an encounter with Tom Wachowski, the small-town policeman (James Marsden), Sonic’s gold rings are accidentally transported to San Francisco. He must join with Tom, who he calls the Doughnut Lord because, as I stated before, this movie’s script is screamingly unoriginal, and they go on a road trip. In pursuit of the pair is Dr. Robotnik, played by a totally game Jim Carrey, who hasn’t been this manically fun in years. Whatever stupid crap the movie has him doing doesn’t really matter. What matters is director Jeff Fowler gives the comedian permission to go off, and Carrey not only riffs away, but gets behind the character with his trademark physical acting. He gets legitimate laughs that are surprisingly offbeat considering his kiddie movie surroundings. (I especially liked his musings regarding Charlotte’s Web.) Alas, Carrey’s role is a supporting one, and he doesn’t get nearly enough screen time to save this from being a relatively rote affair.