The world needed a hero — it got a hedgehog. Powered with incredible speed, Sonic embraces his new home on Earth — until he accidentally knocks out the power grid, sparking the attention of uncool evil genius Dr. Robotnik. Now, it’s supervillain vs. supersonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using Sonic’s unique power to achieve world domination.
Plot: After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help him defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on him.
Director: Jeff Fowler
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 99 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy — and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career.
“A great video-game adaptation for the whole family.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa cameras at 3.4k and finished at a 4k digital intermediate, that mean you’ll get a native presentation on this disc. On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision & HDR10. (There is no grain on this release, so you grain haters will be happy about that.)
This 4K UHD disc hits all the marks a movie released in 2020 should have — the clarity is top notch and the HDR brings out color, depth and dimension in every scene.
Starting with HDR, the bright colors literally POP! off of the screen time and time again. During the day you’ll notice the various greens in the forest and in the landscape of Montana, and at night you will notice the deep blacks highlighting any color on screen. To the biggest plus, Sonic — the bright neon-electricity shooting off his body looks amazing (day and night) mixed with the blue fur on his body. While this is truly constant, you’ll notice these highlights immediately in the first few Chapters of the film. For contrast, first you’ll see Sonic sprinting around the highway by day, full of color, to the power outage at night which gives you inky blacks and a squint-worthy blue glow of an EMP — it’s reference type of material. (If that’s not enough, you will also notice little things the the color-tone of the characters skin and the red lasers coming from the drones.)
Now on the the sharpness — the first note I made is that the CGI on this disc is flawless… it blends right into the real world, Paramount did an amazing job with the animation. Not only is foreground sharp, but the background elements are sharp as well — I guess you can say that there are technically no faults on this disc. Beyond that, this sharp UHD brings out facial details in the many close-ups. All the small and fine details are more apparent; that means freckles, beard stubble, wrinkles, blemishes, pores — the works. As for some highlights, you have to go to Dr. Robotnik’s signature suit and his matte black truck. The bright red tack-suit looks amazing in it’s short time on screen — it’s so sharp you can make out the individual stitching.
As a final note, keep an eye out for the final sequence with Sonic jumping through rings to different parts of the world. You’ll get great color from not only the explosions, but the neon-blue lightning again from Sonic, the gold-yellow hues from the rings and the red coming from the lights inside and around Dr. Robotnik’s jet. It’s another showcase — especially with those slow-motion moments in UHD.
Lastly, there are a solid amount of special features on this disc. You’ll not only get commentary from the director, but five deleted scenes, Jim Carrey talking about being a super-villain, a behind the scenes look on the film set, bloopers, a music video and a 2-D animated short that shows Sonic visiting various landmarks in record time. Outside of the animated short, I don’t know how many kids will enjoy special features — thy would much rather hit that play button again to rewatch the movie. Otherwise, anyone looking for more on the movie will find it.
In conclusion —
When the very first trailer came out, the internet went into a frenzy because of the design Paramount used to showcase Sonic — it wasn’t pretty. Luckily, they went back in and re-designed the character to near perfection. As you already know, video-game adaptations are either really good or really bad. Good news is that Sonic the Hedgehog goes on the positive side of the video-game adaptation conversation.
The movie is simple in story and (of course) pushed toward a younger audience, which is to be expected. I don’t believe the goal of this was to push a new series of movies (wink wink) or win awards for the storyline — it’s just a pure fun 99 minute film for the whole family. Breaking it down, the movie rolls out the concept of not only the ideal of friendship, but adapting the games’ format between nature and machine, good and evil. They did a great job, there’s really nothing more to add. I don’t think any adults will go in for repeat viewings, but I think it could have that effect on children who now have the chance to love the character.
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Sonic the Hedgehog gets my recommendation for a day one purchase on multiple fronts. First, if you have a family, then a new film to watch during the pandemic that’s fun and simple is a must. Secondly, if you grew up on Sonic and need a good video-game adaptation, then you’re in luck. Third, if you love a good looking UHD disc, then you will need this on the shelf. Do yourself a favor, grab a copy at your local retailer on 4K and Blu-ray today.
Did you catch Sonic the Hedgehog in theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Cheers & stay safe,
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