Sonic in Spanish

Is it silly? Oh yes. Is it fun? I thought so, even in Spanish!

Having lived in the mountains in Colorado, I’ve missed ethnic cuisine and access to the movies. So coming to visit Aurora, Colorado was an eye-opener! Did you know that it’s home to an incredibly diverse population with a smorgasbord of the most delicious International cuisine? Well, I didn’t. Boy have I been eating my way to nirvana on my visit. Vietnamese restaurants in every strip mall. Not just Chinese but Burmese, Ethiopian and Indonesian restaurants…I even passed a Dumpling Shop!

What does this have to do with a movie review? I’ll bet you can guess. Knowing that I had a review due that might be any of three films…I was determined to see them all before returning to Telluride. Sonic the Hedgehog was screening fairly close by at the Sonora Cinemas. Little did I know that the films play in Spanish or with subtitles. I was about to share a crowded theater full of large families with little ones all enjoying their Sunday outing. The woman who let me purchase my ticket said, “You know it’s in Spanish…” in an incredulous voice. I decided that it was a good experience to have and though I wasn’t the only gringo in the theater, I was likely the only one not fluent in the language.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a film in a foreign language. I’m a big fan of International movies. Usually there are English subtitles to help me understand the plot. I sat through a French film with German subtitles at the Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin once. It’s an interesting way to concentrate your attention on other aspects of filmmaking. Plus, Sonic the Hedgehog is a kid’s movie with a CGI character—how much plot could there be? ¡Ay de mí!

Jim Carrey is one of the most expressive actors in the world. His villain can say more with a twirl of his villainous, ludicrous mustache than many actors express in lines of dialogue. There’s no translation necessary when he’s on screen. He’s contorting his body, flailing his arms, commanding his minions and tossing off snide comments like darts. I was laughing right along with the kids. What I didn’t expect was the dialogue-heavy relationship discussions and long conversations between the James Marsden character, a small town police officer and the bright blue Hedgehog. They spend a great deal of time in a truck making it easier for the actor to talk to the empty space that Sonic will occupy post-production.  Most of the film is genuinely sweet as they establish a friendship during their adventures.

I may have missed certain nuances in the dialogue between Tika Sumpter playing the wife of this ambitious small town officer. It was clear that she was supporting his decision to move to SF and though she’s not given a lot of lines, her character has a little more to do than just be the supportive spouse. The film has an odd sentimental take on small town life reflected in Sonic’s views of what’s important in life: speed, yes…but a home and loving family foremost. The film may have lots of flashy battles and silly one-liners, yet it’s a nice family movie with throw-back sentimentality. Even for an alien, there’s no place like home.

Drinks with Films rating: 2 ½ neon blue-colored Slushies (out of 5)

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