Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Wreck-It Ralph - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Wreck-It Ralph
Directing: B+
Acting: B+
Writing: B+
Cinematography: A-
Editing: B+

Okay, so none of the kids watching are going to care about this, but I'd sure like a movie like this to take a step back and breathe a little more. Sure, it's about video game characters, but so was TRON, and that movie wasn't so frenetic. The rapid-fire editing, skilled as it is, just seems to perpetuate short attention spans.

And honestly, Wreck-It Ralph feels a little like Disney trying to capture the same kind of magic offered consistently by all three of the Toy Story movies: nostalgia for brands audiences fell in love with as kids. Instead of toys, it's video games.

Full disclosure: I was never one for video games. I didn't really grow up on, say, Pac-Man -- who gets a couple of cameos here, along with Qbert and a whole host of other retro-cool video game characters (most of which, of course, I don't recognize). That said, this movie ends up being a mash-up of three different video games that are totally made up by the writers -- though it would be no surprise if they all soon became actual video games -- and the result is a whole bunch of undeniable fun.

John C. Reilly is well cast as the title character, a "bad guy" from a game called "Fix-It Felix" (that guy is voiced by Jack McBrayer, a perfect fit for Disney if there ever was one) who is dissatisfied with being the outcast for the entire thirty years the game has existed. Once all the kids go home from the arcade at night, the video game characters carry on amongst themselves (much like the Toy Story toys coming to life whenever the kids aren't around), and they can travel the power cords like subway trains to other games.

Ralph, insisting he can win a medal just like Felix and therefore be "a good guy," goes in search of another game in which he can win. He causes a bit of trouble in a military-type shoot-em-up game in which he crosses paths with a female commander voiced by Jane Lynch. They shoot alien robot bugs. But then Ralph ends up in a kids' racing game called Sugar Rush, where everything is made of candy, and it seems as though about two thirds of the movie takes place there.

The little girl Ralph meets there, Vanellope, is voiced by Sarah Silverman. If you know anything about Silverman, you know she's a surprising, almost shocking, choice for a Disney film. To their credit, none of her usual dialogue is in this movie; and if you judge by the sound of her voice alone, it's inspired casting. Silverman need only talk just like herself and she sounds just like a little girl who races baked gingerbread racing cars in a land made of candy.

Ralph, who spends most of his time helping Vanellope get into the race so she can win back Ralph's medal she used to pay her fee as a contestant, inadvertently brings one of those robot bugs into Sugar Rush. This is not so much a pertinent plot point as a means for a lively climax merging elements of three totally disparate video games, but somehow, it works.

Truthfully, to appeal to the greatest number of kids, it makes sense that most of the action should take place in Sugar Rush. I could have used more clever gags -- there's one particularly great one involving Oreos -- but most of the "family entertainment" audiences aren't going to care so much about that.

Bottom line, Wreck-It Ralph is original neither in concept nor in execution, but it's solid fun just the same. Being cram-packed with action (and, yes, adorableness) does mean there's never a dull moment. I kind of wish Disney Animation Studios weren't so transparent in trying to be Pixar, but I guess you can't blame them for shooting for the stars. They may miss the mark, but only slightly; this movie is still worthy in its own right.

Ralph (John C. Reilly) doesn't want to be such a wrecker anymore in WRECK-IT RALPH.

Overall: B+
1 comment or Leave a comment
tommy50702 From: tommy50702 Date: April 7th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
The beginning part of the movie felt a bit slow to me but it got much better as it went along. I loved the ending.
1 comment or Leave a comment