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Sonic The Hedgehog Live-Action Film Gets First Trailer

And now for something completely weird.

The first trailer for Paramount's live-action video game adaptation Sonic the Hedgehog was posted to the studio's official YouTube channel today, and it is — how do we put this — completely bonkers.

The flick has been in development since 2014, kicking around at Sony Pictures for three years before jumping ship to Paramount — with most of its original production team staying on board — in 2017. It may give you an idea of the... unique comic sensibility on display in the trailer to know that Tim Miller, the director of the comedy masterpiece Deadpool, has been involved for a great deal of that time, with his Blur Studio production partner Jeff Fowler making his directorial debut. The flick features Ben Schwartz (the voice of Rutabaga Rabitowitz on Bojack Horseman) as the voice of Sonic, James Marsden (Cyclops in the X-Men franchise) as the little rodent's somewhat-unwilling partner, Officer Tom Wachowski, and — in an absolute casting coup — Jim Carrey, in full-on manic freakout mode, as the evil Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Much has been made of the singularly odd, strangely muscle-y appearance of Sega's legendary hedgehog teased by the movie's first poster, and yes, it's probably even weirder than you'd expect — but before we begin pontificating on whether we think the most unlikely video game property to ever get the live-action feature treatment has been done justice, let's dig in to this trailer.

The spot begins with a police cruiser on a lonely stretch of highway, with the officer inside a bit puzzled after his radar gun registers the speed of a blue blur, barely visible to the naked eye, which just went screaming past him: 760 miles per hour. (Really, do radar guns even go that high?) It's Marsden's Officer Wachowski, and he's even more puzzled to find the glowing blue quill, left in the brush by the side of the highway, which is the only trace of whatever just blew by.

Then, we get a POV of our hero flying through the woods at extreme speeds (and if this isn't meant to be a visual reference to The Evil Dead, we'll eat a pine cone), before we see Sonic dropping down into a lair cluttered with junk to hit Play on an old-school boombox. The sounds he cues up are just as old-school: "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio, for some reason, and we cut to Sonic getting a little bit of a workout on the same highway, letting loose with a... well, sonic boom that apparently causes a few problems.

We see a meeting of high-level military brass taking place at the Pentagon, with the assembled officers being informed that "20 minutes ago, an energy surge knocked out power across the entire Pacific Northwest. This needs someone who can figure out exactly what we're dealing with." That somebody: Carrey's Dr. Robotnik, and we're pleased to report that you haven't seen Carrey ham it up like this in a very, very long time. With a near Ace Ventura level of barely-contained mania, the buzzcut-sporting, mustachioed, trenchcoat-wearing Robotnik shows up at a military installation and proceeds to confound the hell out of the commanding officer, all beginning with one simple question: "Are you in charge here?" The following exchange is classic Carrey, who finds the absolute wordiest way possible to call the poor man "basic."

We cut to Officer Wachowski stumbling upon Sonic rummaging through his garage, prompting the only possible reaction from the cop: screaming, and lots of it. (Hey, if you suddenly found yourself staring down a bright blue hedgehog the size of a small child with weirdly human teeth, you'd scream too, cop or no.) But his terror must be short-lived, as the following shot sees the pair in Wachowski's truck, cruising down the highway while being pursued by Robotnik's hulking nightmare of a vehicle. "Basically, it looks like I'm gonna have to save your planet," Sonic humbly offers in response to the cop's demand for answers, and when their truck comes under assault by Robotnik, Sonic demonstrates his qualifications by just straight-up demolishing the evil doctor's SUV of doom. 

We then cut to Robotnik examining one of those blue quills, crackling with electricity, as his voiceover intones: "Whatever this creature is, our job is to secure it... neutralize it... see what makes it tick." That last is delivered by Carrey onscreen as he sports the most ill-fitting, busted-up pair of sunglasses you have ever seen on anyone's face, and we'd like to remind everyone here that Jim Carrey, though it seems like we haven't seen a lot of him in recent years, is still effortlessly hysterical just by virtue of being himself.

The closing montage teases just so much craziness: Sonic's famous rings as some kind of transportation portals, a bizarre airborne craft blasting at our hero with laser guns as he blazes across the dunes of a desert, and what seems like a million missile-equipped drones utterly failing to take down one simple, lightning-fast hedgehog with (we really feel like this bears repeating) human teeth. After the title card, there's an inspired gag as Wachowski attempts to smuggle Sonic into an office building in his duffel bag, resulting in an understandable bit of confusion from passersby when whatever is in there begins complaining that it can't breathe.

Okay... we've gotta say, the poster had us a little bit skeptical, and Sonic's rendering in this trailer looks a tad unfinished. For that matter, it might be — the film doesn't come out for over six months, and visual effects are often cleaned up between a film's first trailer and its general release. But, Marsden makes an excellent straight man (for evidence, we refer you to 2007's underrated comedy Enchanted), the comedic chemistry between the actor and his CGI co-star appears to be on point, and once again — Jim freaking Carrey. The Man with the Face of Rubber hasn't taken on a straight comedic role for something like a decade (we're not counting 2014's Dumb and Dumber To, and neither should you), and it is nothing short of awesome to see him doing what he does best — heck, doing what only he is physically capable of doing — once again. We're on board; we will, however, hold out hope that the VFX team isn't done with Sonic's teeth. Seriously, it's... kind of disturbing.

Sonic the Hedgehog books it into theaters on November 8.