So at the end of April Paramount Pictures decided to release a trailer for their film adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog, another entry into Hollywood attempting to capture the spirit of video games…and likely failing. Video game based movies have never been great, either going too far from the base concept (see: Super Mario Brothers), pandering in an attempt to garner attention from a specific demo, yet having nothing of substance (see: Pixels), or just being general hot garbo placed on a screen somehow green lit by executives who know nothing of games (see: BloodRayne).
As for exceptions of decent or even good movie adaptations, they’ve been few and far between, either being just popcorn thriller enough to make a series (see: Resident Evil) or entertaining due to a love and care for the craft and base concept/ powered by the beautiful marketing of an actor I have general mixed feelings but generally positive feelings about (see: Detective Pikachu and if you wanna understand my mixed feelings for Ryan Reynolds, look at a few of my movie reviews). And at this point, once we hear, film adaptation based off of a video game, due to the amount of times we’ve been burned before, we look at an entry with such a jaded perspective that it’s kind of dead at arrival.
I’m sure that Paramount wants to be one of those rare exceptions, but given the trailer that we received, I’m sure it won’t. But generally the question is, does it really matter? Though the trailer for the movie is currently at around 618K dislikes on YouTube, we have to accept that quite a few people are going to watch this horrid movie. Even I have said several times that I want to watch this film to see how they massacred my boy. And even on a certain level, I don’t think it’ll be that bad. It’ll be cringey, horrendous, weird, but it’ll be okay. People will laugh either at intentional lines or just how bad it is. People will meme it as they already have. It’ll be fine.
Outside of the story, which will be trash, the main problem the internet has had has been the design. Now does the design look like a failed experiment between a halfling and a blue wolverine with more teeth than it should and odd baby hands…and shoes that could’ve been exactly like the base design, but for some reason weren’t? Yeah. But it doesn’t look that bad. I’m pretty okay with it. It can definitely be better.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ll get to that in a sec, the design will be changed. Some people think that this was a strategy from Paramount the entire time, while I don’t believe that we, as people, should believe that Paramount or any corporate entity for that matter would have that sort of insight to make galaxy brain plays like this thought up conspiracy. If anything, due to the amount of backlash both from Sega’s Sonic Team and the internet, they likely decided, in an effort to not go completely in the red with this project, that they should change up the design. And while that’s fortunate that fans may get to see a more appeasing design, it seems like it’ll be unfortunate for the animators and designers for this project. While the general thought would be that the animators/ designers will get paid more for this Paramount blunder (see the wordplay?), likely due to the unfortunate condition for workers (see: video game design and western companies/ see: Telltale, Blizzard, and Rockstar) the animators with zero negotiating power will unfortunately be placed into a crunch mode to fix a mistake none of them had control of, because see: negotiating power, and will likely not get good pay for the amount of time spent and stress they’ll have to endure.
And this isn’t to say, hey the internet shouldn’t complain about things because the workers will suffer. That isn’t the case. If something’s wrong, rightfully complain about it. But it’s more to say that when it comes to films, or really just art in general, as much as executives have a desire to make money, for the most part they shouldn’t try to interfere with creative choices. It’s usually executive interference that ruins narratives, ruins designs, ruins things that could be great. If you’ve hired writers and designers and animators, all paid professionals to craft a project, you should trust them to ultimately do well intention-ed work. Cause I’m pretty sure that designers wanted to make something that looked more like Sonic, and the writers wanted to probably make a great story, but executives likely said something along the lines of, hey let’s make this more realistic, and, video games are for kids, so let’s aim this movie at kids. And that’s depressing.
I think I’m now on a tangent and turning an opinion piece into commentary.
Anyways, I’ll be watching this movie, all the while wondering what could have been. I’ll leave you with a beautiful marketing piece from an actor I have mixed, but positive, feelings about. The movie will likely be my next review and I’ll likely talk about other reviews and how out of touch they are with Pokemon, since it seems quite a few people seem to be doubting the reach that the video game series has (even if the movie’s based off of a side game). Later days.
Okay. Okay. This is usually where I end my posts, but um, if you want, you can mute the video above and play this song instead. Once again, later days.