Review: Wreck-It Ralph
Isn’t it tiring always being the villain? Wreck-It Ralph has been the villain for over thirty years and he’s not going to take it anymore.
Disney and Executive Producer John Lasseter have tapped into the nostalgia well with Wreck-It Ralph. Director Rich Moore (best known for his work on Futurama and The Simpsons) fills Wreck-It Ralph with enough references to please fans of classic video games as well as bringing a new generation into the fun. With an eclectic mixture of characters and settings, Wreck-It Ralph continues Disney’s recent animation winning streak.
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) has had a tough thirty years on the job. As the antagonist of the classic arcade game, Fix-It Felix Jr., Ralph has had his face in the mud more times than he cares to remember. The popularity of the title has allowed it to survive in the arcade for thirty years. Unfortunately for Ralph, the other characters in his game don’t care to celebrate the occasion with him. They make it clear that the only way they’ll invite him is if he can obtain a medal to prove he’s a hero.
Thus Ralph decides to visit other video games in the arcade in order to get his medal. His journey brings him to a Halo/Call of Duty hybrid called, Hero’s Duty. Ralph meets the tragically flawed Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) during his escapades in the action game. Through unfortunate circumstance Ralph also ends up in a Kart racing game entitled Sugar Rush. Here he meets the acquaintance of Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). She has her own problems within her game world and needs Ralph’s help. Back in Hero’s Duty, Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer) meets Calhoun and they both decide it’s crucial that they return Ralph to his own game.
If you’re old enough to remember when Pac-Man and Street Fighter II dominated arcades, you’re going to love Wreck-It Ralph. The first half of the film features enough cameos from classic video game characters and visual sight gags to please even the most jaded gamer. The good news is Wreck-It Ralph works well enough without knowledge of classic gaming. The second half of the film seems to focus more on food humor and everyone can join in on the laughs. The voice casting also impresses with enjoyable performances from John C. Reilly and Jack McBrayer. There are points where Vanellope von Schweetz can get a little irritating, but Sarah Silverman is good at that so it’s no surprise.
Wreck-It Ralph is more than its sugar-coated nostalgia would suggest. Featuring a very similar story path as the classic John Lasseter film, Toy Story, Ralph must discover his place in the world. Wreck-It Ralph might be too sweet for some, but it has characters to care about. This is the secret to any good movie and Wreck-It Ralph accomplished it to become the best video game movie ever made.