I feel bad for this movie.
Not because I think it’s going to be anything above one of the worst Hollywood movies this decade, but rather because it was dead on arrival. Even if it were directed by a resurrected Stanley Kubrick and starred Tom Hanks, making audiences cry so much that theaters everywhere became small lakes, there would still be skeptical people by concept alone. Still, the trailer did nothing to curb those expectations. Before we saw anything from this movie, it wouldn’t have been a major surprise if it were good. We are fortunate enough to live in an age where concepts like Antman and The Lego Movie turned out to be considerably high quality, when just 15 years ago, they would have been laughed out of a pitch meeting. The current Hollywood climate meant that the Sonic movie didn’t have to inherently have to be crap, so it makes it worse that Sega signed off on something this sad.
I am already over the outrage this trailer had. Every Youtuber, Twitterer, Tumblrer and their extended families had a reaction video up before the trailer was finished playing. Everyone knew it was going to be terrible from the moment the first poster was shown off, so it’s no surprise that the trailer met those expectations. But even though it’s not as surprising as you are expected to believe it is, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be upset. Sonic is the franchise that got me into gaming. I wouldn’t have even touched Mario as a kid if it weren’t for the curiosity over what he has over Sonic. The world tends to view Sonic as a joke, a twisted, furry playground for 9 year olds with deviantart accounts and an attachment to fan fiction websites. That’s not what Sonic is to me. Sonic represented a daring approach to platforming, a Jazz to Nintendo’s Classical. It represented bright colors that welcomed anyone, not just kids. It had style, grace, and a flow that reflected Segas approach to all games. Sonic was the gateway to Sega’s different, cooler world.
This is anything but that.
There’s nothing fun in this trailer. There’s nothing fresh here to look at. This is the Sonic movie that would have been released in 1994 and swiftly forgotten about alongside the Mortal Kombat and Super Mario Bros movies. It’s painful, pandering garbage. I would say it’s tone deaf to its audience, but that’d be misleading. The target audience isn’t me, the person who genuinely loves Sonic for what it is. The target audience is ignorant parents, looking to show their kids a mind numbing hour and a half to keep them entertained. It’s the Smurfs, it’s Alvin and The Chipmunks, it’s every IP whose owners have a loose enough grip that parasites crawl in, lay their eggs, and kill their host from the inside out. It’s disgusting.
But I don’t blame the filmmakers for this. Doing the research, it’s not like this was unexpected from them. I blame Sega for signing off on this. Today’s Sega signs off on whatever anymore, which has had varied results. There has been good things, like Sonic Mania and the Sonic Boom TV series, but there’s been equal amounts of bad, like Sonic Forces and the Sonic Boom games. There’s no quality control on their part. My magical crystal ball tells me nobody from Sonic Team was involved with the project, because they would have thrown Sonics design own the window along with anyone who thought it looked good. The loads of individual people online photoshopping fixes to it shows just how easy it would have been for one in a team of presumably hundreds to stand up and say “How about we ditch the teeth?”
I know I haven’t seen the movie yet. This entire article may as well be judging a book by its hideously CG’d cover. But at the same time, it’s like being shown a next gen console that catches fire from running Pong, and saying “we’ll just have to see if it runs games well when it launches tomorrow”. The odds of this movie being watchable is about the same as being struck by lightning. The people responsible should be held accountable. As an entertainment company, Sega’s job is to entertain, and while this may well entertain some people (and many more for the wrong reasons), this is a betrayal to the people that were entertained by Sonic in the first place. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget Sega sold nostalgia for themselves. That’s the most embarrassing thing of all.
But hey, that’s my opinion. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments, and of course, in the forums!
HautDeForme is a collector, a self proclaimed historian, and most of all, a player of video games. When he’s not writing about that, you can find him writing music for no particular reason and advocating for the localization of Mother 3, whether people listen or not.