Today BlueCore Studios released an 18-minute, live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film. Much like the video game franchise it's based on, the film is an uneven mess.
In the film, Dr. Robotnik conquers humanity with a robot army. He then turns his attention to the South Island, a mysterious place with more-intelligent-than-average animal life. His plans for world domination are quickly stymied by an unexpected hero: a giant hedgehog.
"The intention of making this film was for it to be a spec film, with the primary purpose being to show how a Sonic the Hedgehog film, in a live action environment, can be executed," read the YouTube introduction to the film.
For me, the film had the opposite effect. It convinced me that Sonic wouldn't work at all as a live-action film.
The film really has a split personality. On the one hand, you have this grim story of a dictator taking over humanity with a mechanized army. He kills or tortures any who oppose him. Giant television screens on the sides of skyscrapers deliver propaganda to the world's population.
Periodically, though, the film morphs into a cartoon. The rebels try to shoot down Robotnik's airship with a cardboard tube bazooka. Robotnik sentences a prisoner to "roboticization." And then there's Sonic himself: a wisecracking blue hedgehog with red sneakers and Road Runner speed.
Sonic is voiced here by Jaleel White, who played Steve Urkel in Family Matters. White actually voiced Sonic in the old TV cartoons. That's really where Sonic belongs: in a cartoon. If you're going to have a film about a blue, supersonic hedgehog, you need to accept the fact that this film is neither going to be gritty or realistic.
Side note: the guy playing Robotnik (DJ Hazard) is awesome. I'd watch him be evil in anything.