Sonic the Hedgehog ★½

With sincere condolences to the underpaid animators who spent the last four months in panic mode, Sonic the Hedgehog’s grotesque human teeth have turned out to be the least of his movie’s problems. If it’s any consolation, just remember that someone once spent a torturous amount of time designing the curtains for the Titanic (of course, the people who designed the curtains for “Titanic” were rewarded with an Oscar for Best Art Direction, but let’s not worry about that right now). The point is that “Sonic the Hedgehog” was beyond salvation long before a fan outcry rescued the Sega mascot from the island of Dr. Moreau.

It’s hard to remember the last time that a video game adaptation so fundamentally misunderstood the basic appeal of its own franchise — even oft-derided bombs like “Doom,” “Warcraft” and “Assassin’s Creed” engaged with their source material in a way that spoke to what fans loved about it in the first place. Uwe Boll’s filmography notwithstanding, you might have to go all the way back to 1993’s “Super Mario Bros.” to find such a striking disconnect between the experience of playing something at home and watching it in a theater.

The difference is that “Super Mario Bros.” willfully ignored its source material as part of an insane Republican psy-op to traumatize an entire generation of children into respecting a lizard-man leader like Dennis Hopper’s President Koopa (unless there’s a better explanation for that movie out there). “Sonic the Hedgehog” veers away from the speedball energy of its video game series in order to be a generic kids movie, and a slow one at that.

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