(Before I say anything, I must make clear that I never judge any fan film on their CGI. It's a fan made film, they just DON'T have the money. But you never need money to have a good idea. So this review focuses on the direction and interpretation they chose to give Sonic.)
Darkier And Edgier
seems to be the go-to tone for reboots nowadays. Just take any age old franchise, gritty it up a notch, add some dirt to its cheeks and boom. Reboot. In some cases, a darker interpretation can actually reveal and explore new things about a franchise's characters and scenarios (Batman always benefited from this). And other times...you get "Sonic".
The film mercilessly tries to play everything as straight as it can. All of it is darker! Edgier! More serious! 'Robotnik' and is now crueler and badder than ever. He has ruthlessly taken over the region and now rules his own little dystopia. There's a rebel force struggling to fight back. Times are bleak and all is desperate. Well. Except for Sonic.
See, the only thing not darker and edgier...is Sonic himself. Sonic has remained pretty truthful to his wisecracking blue furred self. But therein lies the problem, Sonic doesn't fit in with anything else in the short film. This cartoonish lighthearted jokester feels severely out of place. The film takes itself so straight-faced seriously that it doesn't take a moment to appreciate the absurdity of its very premise. A mad scientist faces off against a anthropomorphic hedgehog that can run rings around jet planes. That's flipping awesome. It sounds more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Except it isn't. "Sonic" is devoid of any sense of humor. It's such a wet blanket, it's a shame. Sonic should not be drab. Sonic is FUN at its very core. It's why we played the games and watched the shows. This new direction is anything but fun, it simply does NOT work with Sonic.
Now, "Sonic" shouldn't really be seen as a film, it's more like an experiment. It barely has any character development or much narrative. But that's fine because virtually, the very thought it's based on is, "Wouldn't it be cool if Sonic was realized in a live action movie?" And the answer is yeah, that would be totally cool. Unfortunately this isn't it.