Fans wishing to see rubber-faced comedian Jim Carrey get back to what he does best got their wish in 2020. Now, the film that saw Carrey add one more crazy character to his long list of crazy characters has found life once again as it holds firm at #9 on the Paramount+ streaming site.
Sonic the Hedgehog brings Jim Carrey back to what he does best. Characters. He’s gone over the top a number of times with characters such as The Mask, Lloyd Christmas, Ace Ventura, Count Olaf, Colonel Stars and Stripes, and of course, the Grinch. So, introducing the world to Doctor Robotnik was not a new concept, just a welcome sight for Carrey connoisseurs.
The story finds our title character, the anthropomorphic blue hedgehog, being chased by a tribe of echidnas, who want him for his power (supersonic speed). To save him, Sonic’s guardian Longclaw the Owl gives him a bag of rings that can open portals to other planets. Longclaw uses one of these rings to send Sonic to Earth.
Ten years have passed since Sonic found his way to Earth and the hedgehog is lonely. He’s been unable to announce his presence to anyone, biding his time spying on the humans near the town of Green Hills, Montana. He has become enthralled with the life of local sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter).
Also bored is Sheriff Tom, who finds the lack of action in Green Hills not to his liking. Therefore, he has accepted a position in San Francisco Police Department.
Upset with not being able to have friends, Sonic decides to start running at high speeds in a circle. As he zips around, he accidentally triggers an electromagnetic pulse that causes a large-scale power outage across the entire Pacific Northwest. Trying to find the cause, the U.S. Department of Defense calls on the services of the highly eccentric Dr. Robotnik, a well-known roboticist and scientific genius.
Sonic, knowing he caused the outage, decides it’s time to flee the safety of his home as well as Earth. While on the move, Tom discovers Sonic hiding in his shed and ends up shooting Sonic with a tranquilizer dart, causing Sonic to drop his bag of rings. The bag travels through a portal, ending up in at the San Francisco Transamerica Pyramid, instead of the mushroom planet Sonic was intending to travel to.
The mad genius that’s Dr. Robotnik, however, is on their trail and when he first catches up to them, Tom and Sonic flee together. This prompts Robotnik to label Tom a domestic terrorist.
Tom begins to like the blue hedgehog, sympathizing with Sonic in his desire to have friends. As they travel toward San Francisco to hopefully find Sonic’s bag of rings, the two begin to develop that friendship Sonic has long sought.
While Robotnik continues his search for Sonic, he has found one of Sonic’s quills. After analyzing it, Robotnik discovers the quill carries an almost limitless amount of electrical energy. Knowing this, Robotnik now makes it his goal to capture Sonic and use his power for his own gain.
The race, so to speak, is on. Does Sonic, aided by Tom, get to his bag of rings in time or will the crazed Dr. Robotnik put a stop to it?
Let’s not beat around the bush here. For those who love Jim Carrey’s schtick, Sonic the Hedgehog is the perfect vehicle for him. When we first see Jim Carrey as Robotnik, we know exactly what we are going to get from Carrey. An over-the-top, all in, Jim Carrey.
The film, which not only showcases Jim Carrey along with Marsden, is also highlighted by the vocal support of Ben Schwartz as Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog was directed by Jeff Fowler from a script by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. Surprisingly in an age where movies based on video games are more miss than hit, Sonic delivered at the box office as well as with critics. Fowler was handed $85 million to make his movie and was rewarded with nearly $320 million at the box office. Not bad for a film that was released during the COVID pandemic.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing in trying to bring Sonic to the screen. Since the video game’s inception in 1993, a feature film was in the works. For various reasons the film languished in development hell, starting and stopping, then starting and stopping again.
In 2017, Paramount Pictures purchased the rights to Sonic from Sony and the film finally went before cameras, scheduled for a November 2019 release. While Fowler and company were on track to hit that date, test footage of the film would delay it much longer.
Those who saw the footage were less than impressed by the look of Sonic. A trailer was released, causing more widespread distaste for the blue hedgehog. Finally, with the Sonic criticism reaching its zenith, Paramount decided to literally go back to the drawing board for a Sonic redesign.
The price tag for the redo hit Paramount’s wallet to the tune of $5 million, but it certainly paid off. Fans were pleased with Sonic’s “new” look, which brought it much closer to the video game version.
The 2000 teens were not a popular time for Jim Carrey. He did titillate fans with his return to his Lloyd Christmas persona, though Dumb and Dumber to didn’t fare remotely as well as the original. The twenty-teens saw Carrey make more news off-camera more than he did on with his relentless attack (some say) via his artistic endeavors towards anyone who landed in his crosshairs.
So, when Jim Carrey took on the role as Jeff Pickles in the hit series Kidding, it was a welcome relief to his vastly dwindling fan base. Sonic the Hedgehog was the cherry on top, a role so popular that Carrey is coming back as Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a film that will see the return of the cast from the first film as well as add the vocal talents of Idris Elba as Knuckles.
Things appear to be going so well on that production set that Jim Carrey made news by gifting a new car to a lucky sequel crew member.
You can catch Jim Carrey’s return to form in Sonic the Hedgehog on Paramount+.