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Sonic the Hedgehog First Critic Reviews Say Jim Carrey Steals the Show

Sonic the Hedgehog is racing back into theaters on February 14, 2020, and the review embargo has lifted for the Blue Blur’s latest adventure.While many claim it to be a bit unimaginative, critics have praised Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik and how it allows him to channel some of his greatest performances from the ’90s. Also,…

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Sonic the Hedgehog First Critic Reviews Say Jim Carrey Steals the Show
Sonic the Hedgehog is racing back into theaters on February 14, 2020, and the review embargo has lifted for the Blue Blur’s latest adventure.While many claim it to be a bit unimaginative, critics have praised Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik and how it allows him to channel some of his greatest performances from the ’90s. Also, there are a ton of Easter Eggs and things to find for those fans of the franchise, while also offering a fun, family adventure for all.

IGN’s own 7-score review of Sonic the Hedgehog by Akeen Lawanson says that “While this family-friendly action-comedy suffers from a simplistic story and leans too heavily on tired visual cliches, Sonic the Hedgehog is nevertheless boosted by solid performances from Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. Their ongoing cat-and-mouse game is entertaining, and passionate fans of the Sega franchise should appreciate all the nods to Sonic’s history.”Here’s our roundup of the first critic reviews for Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Hollywood Reporter

“While Fowler keeps the story moving efficiently, Marsden’s easy geniality prevents the simple narrative from feeling rote. Carrey gets a moment or two to cut loose — an evil-genius happy-dance in his lab will likely be mimicked by young viewers on the way out of the theater. But the actor’s adult fans may hope he’s not as ready to commit to a sequel as closing scenes suggest. Better to cast about looking for the next strange vehicle, like Kidding, than to clown around for a generation of viewers who weren’t born when Ace Ventura came out. Leave it to the made-of-pixels hedgehog to keep racing around the same track year after year and pretending it’s new.” – John DeFore (Source)

The New York Times

“Indeed, other than product placement, the movie’s primary goal seems to be delivering 1990s nostalgia. To that end, Jim Carrey gives his most spry, “Ace Ventura”-like performance in years as the know-it-all villain, Dr. Robotnik. Only his physical and verbal contortions (“I was spitting out formulas while you were spitting up formula”) make the film feel remotely animated.” – Ben Kenigsberg (Source)

Variety

“A review like this one should probably come with a disclaimer: For all the borderline tedium I felt at “Sonic the Hedgehog,” I do realize this is a picture made for 8-year-olds. And they’ll probably like it just fine. Yet I would also call the overly kiddified tone of the movie a mistake. The protesters who rallied for the changes in Sonic’s design by treating it as a line-in-the-sand issue, thereby demonstrating at least one reason why Donald Trump will probably be re-elected (we now have a generation that thinks this is a cause), were not 8-year-olds. As a movie hero, Sonic could (and should) have been hipper and sharper, less megaplex arrested. Even as they fixed his face, the filmmakers strove so hard to make him “likable” that they never figured out a way to make him cool.” – Owen Gleiberman (Source)

GameSpot – 8/10

“As video game adaptations go, Sonic the Hedgehog is among the stronger ones. It’s smart enough to stand on its own, making use of longstanding aspects of Sega’s supersonic mascot and his franchise, while making sure that what really shines through are its characters. That restraint goes a long way to making Sonic the Hedgehog a light, funny movie, and while it definitely skews young, longtime Sonic fans should have just as much fun finally seeing the Blue Blur on the big screen.” – Phil Hornshaw (Source)

New York Post – 3/4 Stars

“Carrey is back in peak comedic form playing the villainous Dr. Robotnik in “Sonic the Hedgehog,” a pleasant new family film based on the old Sega video game. If the title makes you wince, know the movie is a lot better than it deserves to be. You’ll actually care about what happens to the prickly blue dude, even if you never cared about getting to zone seven. – Johnny Oleksinski (Source)

The Washington Post – 3/4 Stars

“There are a couple of misses: It’s probably time to retire the Queen song “Don’t Stop Me Now” as the Official Tune of Action Montages. And we could do with one fewer Sonic-is-so-fast-that-everyone-else-looks-frozen-in-place scene. Fans of the video games will find a host of allusions, but there’s plenty to please any moviegoer who can’t tell a Sega from a Switch. In the end, “Sonic” is quippy without being mean, and sweet without being sappy, making this a trip that’s well worth taking.” – Kristen Page-Kirby (Source)

Collider – C

“Sadly, the rest of Sonic the Hedgehog doesn’t share the manic energy that Sonic and Robotnik bring to the picture. They’re off in something that’s sillier and goofier, but the overall movie demands that they play by the beats of a standard buddy picture/road trip comedy. That formula is fine for what it is, and it gets the job done here, but I wish the filmmakers had taken a bigger, more imaginative swing than settling for just using the Sonic IP, stuffing him into a one-size-fits-all narrative, and calling it a day.” – Matt Goldberg (Source)

TheWrap

“The entire cast knows what film they’re in, providing the perfect blend of energy and charm needed to sell this wacky story about a little blue alien hedgehog. But I couldn’t contain my glee at watching Jim Carrey operate in peak early-’90s form. Robotnik is definitely a villain, but you can spot elements of “Ace Ventura” and “The Mask” whipped into this tech-savvy, egotistical, psychopath. There’s a dance sequence to “Where Evil Grows” that shows off Carrey’s genius.” – Yolanda Machado (Source)

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie Image Gallery

USA Today – 2/4 Stars

“It’s like Sonic got stuck somewhere between hand-drawn “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” territory and the photorealistic “Lion King” animals, though there are some eye-popping sequences with him doing his speed-demon thing, especially a chase between Sonic and Robotnik that hits various international landmarks and uses the Great Wall of China as a racetrack. The film is fine, familiar fare for gamers and children: Sonic sprints, Carrey mugs, but the creative juices run out quickly.” – Brian Truitt (Source)

CinemaBlend – 3.5/5 Stars

“Rather than throwing the audience into an inter-dimensional adventure straight away, the buddy comedy that Ben Schwartz and James Marsden engage in, with Jim Carrey chasing them at every turn, feels like a classic blockbuster adventure rather than a hard edged “extreme” version that’s trying so hard to play to the kids. This video game movie does what others don’t. Playing in a sandbox that wears its heart on its sleeve, but isn’t afraid to go big and goofy, this is a starter film that has its eyes on the future, but doesn’t forget to do the job right in the here and now.” – Mike Reyes (Source)

CNN

“The bottom line is not every piece of intellectual property really has the heft to merit such big-screen treatment, and if there was a way to build a viable cinematic franchise around the game, this doesn’t feel like it. Sonic the Hedgehog might move like a bolt of lightning once his feet start flying, but even with the orthodontia done to correct his chompers, the movie bearing his name still goes nowhere, fast.” – Brian Lowry (Source)

The Guardian – 2/5 Stars

“Sonic the Hedgehog’s big Hollywood entrance was swiftly followed by undignified retreat last year, when the first trailer for this movie prompted online reactions of ridicule, puzzlement and horror at its CGI star’s unsettlingly creepy appearance. The cast of Cats were adorably cuddly by comparison. Now, after a quick redesign, the speedy video-game character is back: less weird-looking, more overtly cartoonish, ready to tear out of the uncanny valley and into our hearts. By the looks of it, though, they should have spent longer in the workshop. Few but diehard fans and young children will be charmed by this predictable, derivative caper.” – Steve Rose (Source)
Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who can’t wait and is so excited he just can’t hide it. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.













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We Played Half-Life: Alyx – Ask Us Your Burning Questions

This month’s IGN First for Half-Life: Alyx is officially in full swing, with brand new gameplay and some commentary on it from Valve! As part of our coverage, Ryan McCaffrey and I played through roughly the first four hours of Alyx, and now we want to know what you want to know. While we can’t…

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We Played Half-Life: Alyx – Ask Us Your Burning Questions

This month’s IGN First for Half-Life: Alyx is officially in full swing, with brand new gameplay and some commentary on it from Valve! As part of our coverage, Ryan McCaffrey and I played through roughly the first four hours of Alyx, and now we want to know what you want to know.

While we can’t reveal everything we saw just yet (and you can read Ryan’s full Half-Life: Alyx hands-on preview for his in-depth impressions), we want to open the floor to any burning questions you have about what it’s like to play Valve’s long-awaited return to the Half-Life universe.

Leave any questions you might have about our time playing Alyx in the comments below! We’ll grab a bunch and update this post with our answers next week.

Keep in mind, Valve has asked us not to share certain details about the story, some of the later mechanics we saw, and other spoilery things like that just yet. But maybe you’re curious about the movement, how its weapons feel, or what the pacing and atmosphere is like from within VR? We had a lot of fun playing Alyx, and we’re excited to tell you about it!

You can find all our Half-Life: Alyx IGN First coverage here, and be sure to keep an eye out all month long for even more exclusive reveals.
Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.

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IGN’s Staff Reviews the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

Video game movies have often proven worthy of disdain in the past but the new hybrid CG-animated/live-action Sonic the Hedgehog is shaping up to be better liked than most, at least according to the IGN staff who have seen the movie.In addition to the official IGN review posted on Tuesday, below you’ll find reactions from…

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IGN’s Staff Reviews the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie
Video game movies have often proven worthy of disdain in the past but the new hybrid CG-animated/live-action Sonic the Hedgehog is shaping up to be better liked than most, at least according to the IGN staff who have seen the movie.In addition to the official IGN review posted on Tuesday, below you’ll find reactions from six staff members across all of our content-making departments — from editorial to social to video — all of which are kept as spoiler-free as possible.

In addition to the staff review roundups for tentpole entertainment properties such as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Netflix’s The Witcher, we also had several members of our team chime in about what they thought about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

These roundup pieces are a bit of an experiment that we will continue tweaking and refining, so we’ll be taking all your feedback left in the comments as we produce more of these in the future.

IGN’s Review, by Akeem Lawanson, Host/Producer

From the official IGN Sonic the Hedgehog review: While this family-friendly action-comedy suffers from a simplistic story and leans too heavily on tired visual cliches, Sonic the Hedgehog is nevertheless boosted by solid performances from Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. Their ongoing cat-and-mouse game is entertaining, and passionate fans of the Sega franchise should appreciate all the nods to Sonic’s history.Make no mistake, this frantically-paced film is made first and foremost for Sonic fans. If you’ve been there for the little blue fella these past 29 years, from his humble beginnings on the Sega Genesis to his current iteration, then Sonic the Hedgehog is the love letter you’re probably looking for. If not… maybe save your gold rings.

Terri Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief, Entertainment

Sonic the Hedgehog is a sweet and simple adaptation of the beloved video game franchise of the same name. This is a movie aimed at kids that certainly is charming as an adult viewer — and pays loving homage to the Sonic video games — but also isn’t especially edgy or adult with its humor. Instead, this is a sweet story about friendship and family, with the strongest bond being between Ben Schwartz’s teenage Sonic and James Marsden’s Tom Wachowski, a cop who crosses paths with Sonic and needs to protect him from Jim Carrey’s villainous Dr. Ivo Robotnik.

Carrey channels his full The Mask energy for a pre-Eggman Robotnik, with all the mustache-twirling zeal you’d hope from him playing this character. As someone who didn’t grow up playing Sonic and who didn’t have a deep attachment to the character, I found his big-screen debut pleasant and inoffensive, but it’s not something I would rush to theaters to see again any time soon.

Sonic the Hedgehog: All the Easter Eggs and Hidden References From the Movie

Zach Ryan, Director of Social Content and Strategy

I didn’t expect much from the Sonic film. To be honest, I’ve never really been much of a Sonic fan, but from the moment we saw those first renders, I knew that this movie would certainly be… something. Fortunately, for all of us, Sonic the Hedgehog is surprisingly fun and full of heart. Yes, it’s chock full extremely online jokes and there are a couple of genuinely bizarre product placements, but that’s not enough to bring down the absolutely bonkers action sequences or distract from a genuinely charming performance from Ben Schwartz as Sonic.

My only real gripe with the film is Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. He’s got a very ‘90s era Jim Carrey vibe about him throughout the whole movie and his over-the-top “I’m better than you” schtick is more annoying than it is funny. It captures a Saturday morning cartoon feel in the same way the recent TMNT films did: absolutely crazy, occasionally cringy, and ultimately a good time.

Nick Limon, Video Producer

The Sonic movie is charming and perfect for kids, with little substance for the adults bringing them to the movie outside of the fantastic bar fight and, of course, Jim Carrey chewing up every scene he’s in.

But other than that, not much of the movie sticks with me outside of the glaring omission of City Escape. Like, why have Sonic travel to San Francisco and have him run away from something and NOT play City Escape? It’s probably in a previous draft of the movie that’s forever lost in time. Like tears in rain.

Brendan Graeber, Editor, Games

I went into the Sonic movie with pretty low expectations – I was a Nintendo kid that played a handful of Sonic games at my friend’s house growing up, so I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen. The movie relied heavily on making Sonic a believable character on screen, and to that end, the design of Sonic was exactly what it needed to be to carry the film (I honestly don’t think I could have stomached a movie’s worth of Sonic’s initial gremlin design). Ben Schwartz did an impeccable job voicing a version of Sonic I actually liked: wisecracking, but not too snarky. Schwartz also managed to make Sonic a goofy chatterbox that never crossed the line into becoming a true annoyance, which I consider a pretty impressive feat. There were a few fun nods to Sonic’s source material, and I’m glad the movie didn’t get lost in the weeds with pointless references or lore that wouldn’t make sense to the plot.

I also felt like Sonic the Hedgehog worked as well as it did thanks to the efforts of its small but talented main cast. Similar movies like Detective Pikachu lost me whenever the camera cut away to the bland human characters, but I felt James Marsden ended up having great chemistry trying to keep up with the hyperactive hedgehog, and Jim Carrey absolutely stole the show by channeling his ‘90s-era zaniness to make every scene he was a part of absolutely over-the-top. I did find the plot revolving around Sonic and Tom Wachowski’s quest to get to San Francisco a bit odd and ultimately underused. The pacing didn’t feel quite right at times with Sonic rushing along with secondary plots by getting mad at something that didn’t make sense, and certain scenes just ended up feeling trivial. That said, Sonic’s slow-motion action scenes were pretty enjoyable, and actually translated Sonic’s signature “spin dash” to look as cool in a movie as it does in a video game.

Francesca Rivera, Associate Producer

I never played the Sonic games growing up, so everything I learned about Sonic’s tragic life-on-the run was straight from this movie. That being said, I love James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, and Ben Schwartz’s love of Sonic, and would’ve tried to watch this movie for them regardless. Sonic is the kind of self-aware kids’ movie that would entertain both the young children and the grown-ups who brought them alike.

Although it is a fun time for the kids, Sonic doesn’t really say anything about anything, especially for its human (and actual) lead, James Marsden’s Tom Wachowski. Marsden, by the way, carries the film expertly and is clearly having a lot of fun, especially against Jim Carrey’s Robotnik. The cat-and-mouse road trip that covers the second act really builds Tom and Sonic’s friendship and fulfills each character’s needs the way a neat movie should. There are also some truly creative “freeze time” sequences with songs that, indeed, slap.

It’s obvious that this film is the first of a franchise, setting up the Sonic/Dr. Robotnik rivalry over the course of what felt like one long first act. The way Tom’s story ends does leave a bad taste in my mouth and Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik, unfortunately, is a little too out-of-place against everyone else’s dialogue and performances. So while the larger lesson of maybe staying in your comfortable space instead of challenging yourself may be troubling to expose to children, it still is a sweet story of helping those in need.

Yusuf McCoy, Social Media Designer

With a commendable performance from Jim Carrey and the titular hero voiced by Ben Schwartz, this live-action adaptation brings the joy and excitement for fans and children alike. Though the film does an adequate job of introducing some lore to Sonic, it falls short in the final act. With some surprise appearances making their way into the film leaving room for possible sequels, this is a strong start to a possible film franchise.

Let us know your thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog in the comments below! And for more on the movie, here’s our breakdown of the end credits scene and what it could mean for a sequel, all the video game Easter eggs we caught in the film, find out what the critics are saying about Sonic, and what Jim Carrey had to tell us about the evolution of Robotnik’s look.

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‘Keep Fighting’ For Persona 5 on Switch, Atlus Says

Persona 5 still hasn’t been announced for the Nintendo Switch, but publisher Atlus says it doesn’t want fans to give up hope just yet. Rumors have swirled around a potential Persona 5 Switch port for a long time, with a bogus Best Buy listing even popping up in 2019, but that momentum has slowed considerably.…

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‘Keep Fighting’ For Persona 5 on Switch, Atlus Says

Persona 5 still hasn’t been announced for the Nintendo Switch, but publisher Atlus says it doesn’t want fans to give up hope just yet.

Rumors have swirled around a potential Persona 5 Switch port for a long time, with a bogus Best Buy listing even popping up in 2019, but that momentum has slowed considerably. So IGN asked Atlus Communications Manager Ari Advincula if it was finally time for fans to give up on hope for a potential port during a Persona 5 Royal preview event earlier this month, to which she responded “I am a strong believer in ‘never ever give up on hope’.”

The fervor for a port was spurred on by protagonist Joker coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate early last year, but ended up being squelched somewhat when the teased P5S turned out to be Persona 5 Scramble, an entirely new game (and essentially a full-on sequel) coming to Switch. But Advincula says fans making their voices heard is the only way it’ll happen.

“You want what you want,” she explained, “and if you don’t let us know it we’re never going to be able to make it.” Advincula said Atlus is listening and does see the desire for Persona 5 on Switch, saying “it’s important to always voice your opinion.”

Advincula encouraged fans to “keep telling us what you want,” saying she was fighting for it internally as well. However, it’s important to point out that she also said she’s obviously “not the decision-maker” in a situation like this despite being an “internal champion” for it, so this shouldn’t be taken as an indication of what is happening or could happen down the line.

Still, Atlus has made it clear it is listening to the Persona community and taking feedback seriously, notably also revealing that it will change a handful of scenes in Persona 5 Royal fans previously condemned for being homophobic for its Western release on March 31.

Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.

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