After a lengthy delay that saw a redesign of its titular character, Sonic the Hedgehog is almost in theaters. Fans might not have reacted well to the first trailer, which featured Sonic with an unsettling full set of teeth, but the reviews for the final film are perhaps a little better than expected. Hitting the theaters on Feb. 14, Sonic has received mixed reviews with a 70 percent fresh critic consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.
The majority of critics have taken issue with the basic plotting and the somewhat dated CGI in the film, but there's been praise for the humor and Jim Carrey's turn as Dr. Robotnik. "This year’s Sonic the Hedgehog could have been the biggest hit of 1996, in ways both good and bad," writes Bilge Ebiri for Vulture, highlighting some of the more bizarre choices while also calling Carrey "the film's most prized weapon."
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore echoed those sentiments. "The production may have riled the internet months ago, with furor over the look of its first trailer sending FX crews back to work on a character redesign; but what's made it to the screen is light-hearted fun unlikely to offend anyone." The Verge's Dami Lee also praised Carrey's performance, labeling him a "true delight to watch."
Even though Carrey's performance has received near-universal praise, some critics did not hold back on the weaker elements of the film. "You could call Sonic the Hedgehog a wannabe E.T., except that might require imagining a version of Steven Spielberg’s classic where the extraterrestrial flosses, makes bad Uber jokes, and lectures Elliot about not appreciating what he already has," writes A.A. Dowd for A.V. Club.
The reviews lean on how surprised people might be to find out it's not as awful as it could have been, but it's definitely not going to win any awards, from the sounds of things. Steve Rose, for The Guardian, noted that it's hard to recommend the movie to anyone "but diehard fans and young children."
Regardless, Sonic is expected to perform well over Presidents' Day weekend. The Hollywood Reporter notes that it's expected to bring in between $45-$50 million with its four-day debut. With a production budget of around $81 million, that's a strong start.