Movies based on video games haven't had the best track record. While films like "Detective Pikachu" and "The Angry Birds 2" managed to resonate with critics and audiences, both franchises always felt like they were conceived as multi-media projects that were destined to be more than just games. "Sonic the Hedgehog" is arguably more "video gamey" than these two.

Sure, there have been countless cartoons, comics, and toys capitalizing on the blue blur over the years, but what makes the game's fun is something that's difficult to translate into a non-interactive medium.

The games have been renowned for their cathartic sense of speed, colorful worlds, and catchy music with plot and characterization understandably put on the back burner. As a matter of fact, the "Sonic" entries that do put a larger focus on the story have often been met with a cold reception. Despite my skepticism, this old hog managed to learn some new tricks

He can really move

Much like the Genesis game, it takes its name from; the plot is very simple. Sonic is an alien who flees to Earth from dark forces who want his power.

To avoid endangering himself or others, Sonic hides in the shadows and tries to keep out of sight from humans. Years of loneliness take their toll on him, and he has an emotional breakdown that causes a massive blackout across the Pacific North-West. This catches the military's attention, and it's up to a friendly local sheriff Tom Wachowski to help Sonic elude capture and find his missing teleportation rings.

What follows is a basic road-movie/ buddy-comedy with the usual shenanigans. While I rolled my eyes at tired tropes such as a barroom brawl that starts from the tiniest provocation, I did enjoy some of the visual gags and set-pieces that make use of Sonic's speed.

Sonic and Tom manage to develop natural chemistry that doesn't feel forced or grating. Sonic has spent most of his time on Earth alone with no-one to talk to, while Tom finds little fulfillment as the sheriff of a sleepy rural town.

Sonic finds a friend in Tom, and his predicament gives Tom the chance to help someone in need finally.

He's got an attitude

The performances manage to elevate what is otherwise standard material. Ben Schwartz from "Parks and Recreation" gives a suitably energetic vocal performance for this character, but rarely are his comedic chops given a chance to really shine. Most of Sonic's jokes consist of family-friendly quips and pop-culture references that'll go over the heads of younger viewers and provoke more groans than laughs from older viewers. Still, Schwartz manages to sell more emotional moments without ever coming across as mawkish.

James Marsden of "Westworld" fame gives just the right amount of sincerity to act as Sonic's straight man, and he never looks like he doesn't want to be here.

The film picks up considerably when Jim Carrey is on screen. Dr. Robotnik, or "Eggman," as Sonic derisively calls him, is an intellectual megalomaniac who has more regard for his machines than people or animals. Carry's hyperactive performance is arguably more cartoony than the actual cartoon character he's hunting. He's clearly having a whale of a time as this character, and it shows. While it may have been decades since "Ace Ventura" or "The Mask," age hasn't slowed down Carrey one bit as he mugs and chews the scenery with gusto.

He's the fastest thing alive

"Sonic" is the feature-length directorial debut of Jeff Fowler. His background is in animation, and it certainly shows with creative set pieces and slick animation. A globe-trotting chase sequence at the climax is a notable highlight and indicates a rosy future for this up and coming director.

"Sonic the Hedgehog" is a video game based film with just enough creativity and fun to keep kids entertained and is inoffensive enough not to irritate their parents. However, if the sequel that this film teases does come to fruition, it had better go further with its outlandish premise and characters.

It is marginally recommended.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!