Whether or not you played Sega’s hugely popular Sonic the Hedgehog video game back in the day, you probably have memories of that blue, inexplicably fast furball who had an outsized pop cultural presence. My references mostly consist of fleeting glimpses of his classic visage as I sprinted through the Dave & Busters arcade to play Guitar Hero instead. But even without much connection to him, it’s pretty apparent from the new trailer for Paramount’s live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie that something iss…off.
Is it Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr. Robotnik, looking positively creepy with his handlebar mustache and cultish black duster? Hmm, no. Is it Sonic himself, voiced by Ben Schwartz, with a face that most closely resembles, ironically enough, one of the Whos from the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Closer, but still not there.
No, the real discomfort starts at the 23-second mark, when the nostalgically electronic video game score in the trailer switches to none other than Coolio’s operatic 1995 single “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
Listen…I get that Sonic is supposed to be a “juvenile delinquent.” But it’s a far stretch to equate his kid-with-a-slingshot antics with one of the most somber, meditative anthems on gang life to ever be recorded. Do you know the last film “Gangsta’s Paradise” was prominently featured in? Dangerous Minds, that Michelle Pfeiffer drama about poverty and racial segregation. I don’t know if you know this, but Sonic the Hedgehog is a children’s movie. They should’ve just gone with Weird Al’s parodic version instead.
Sonic the Hedgehog is in theaters November 8th.