Wreck It Ralph Review
Rock It, Ralph!
A few months ago when I reviewed the movie Brave I sort of lamented the purchase of Pixar by Disney. My perception based on that film was that the vanilla Disney wholesomeness that is the death of so many films for anyone with body hair would infect Pixar like a retrovirus and basically turn them into a Disney clone. I made the comparison of a marriage wherein one of the two people has their personality subsumed by the other, creating a two headed couple monster based on the dominant personality.
However, after seeing this film I have to rescind that statement. It now appears that like the couple who actually morphs into androgynous versions of each other, Disney and Pixar are exchanging critical parts of their personalities (and possibly DNA) in order to become the same type of company with two different offices. I shall refer to them as Dixar, mainly because that name amuses me.
While it is true that Pixar becoming more Disney-like is a tremendous step down in the quality of the films they produce, Disney drinking the Pixar punch is a gigantic, rocket assisted step up to a new superior plane of existence. Wreck It Ralph is fun, exciting, clever, funny, and extremely appropriate for adults as well as most kids. The first sign that this movie might not suck came as I walked up to the theater and noticed the marquee. “Whaaaaat?” I thought. “A Disney cartoon movie that is rated PG? Has the world suddenly stopped spinning on its axis?” However, in spite of my sudden belief in the incoming Rapture (image courtesy of the the Funny T Shirt category) the movie was truly rated PG. Granted, on the G side of the PG rating (as in your kid would have to be the biggest wuss (I’m sorry, sensitive child) since Tommy and Annika from Pippi Longstocking to be upset by this. That might be the most obscure and geeky reference I have used to date, BTW) but PG nevertheless.
This movie does what every kids movie needs to do in order to not suck and that is make it entertaining for the kids while inserting enough adult humor and situations to keep dad from drinking himself into a temporary coma to escape the boredom (what was going to see a movie like for you as a kid, Dave?). There are actually some really funny and subtle jokes that will only be perceived by adults, such as the “random” extra security screening of Ralph as he tries to exit a game, and the Bad-anon meeting for Bad Guy support.
As is my policy for kids movies I will not break it down and assign specific stars and black holes. Such things are wasted and distracting, when really the only questions anyone should have are “Will my kid sit quietly for two hours and enjoy it?” and “Will I end up a diabetic and brain damaged from having to absorb too much sweetness and lame pap in one film?” The answers are respectively yes and no.
The story is of Ralph (voiced by John C Reilly-Step Brothers, the Gangs of New York, The Aviator), a Donkey Kong-esque video game villain who for the last 30 years has been climbing up a building to destroy it, only to be foiled by his nemesis Fix It Felix, Jr (Jack McBrayer-30 Rock, Despicable Me, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). He is tired of being a bad guy, feared and hated by everyone, and forced to sleep in a garbage dump. He goes off on a quest to win a medal and ends up doing so in a different game, Hero’s Duty. While there he accidentally transports one of the villain bugs to Sugar Rush, a cute candy based racing game. There, while looking for his medal he meets Vanellope (Sarah Silverman-the School of Rock, There’s Something about Mary, Heartbreakers), a cute racer who is a glitch in the game. The commanding officer (Jane Lynch-Glee, Talladega Nights, the 40 Year Old Virgin) from Hero’s Duty comes looking for the bug. Vanellope recruits Ralph to help her race against King Candy (Allen Tudyck-Firefly, Tucker & Dale Versus Evil, I, Robot).
I don’t want to get too deep into the story. It is cool and fun, with a couple of very well set up twists and a really good ending. Excellent writing overall. I hate sounding like the kind of wimp I was railing against earlier, but I honestly came close to tearing up at one point. Naturally I ramped up my machismo to keep that in check and on the way home fought some guys and broke some beer bottles on my head make up for it, but if you weren’t the natural font of testosterone that I am you might really feel an emotional connection. Of course, this being a Disney movie (sorry, I meant Dixar) they had to shoehorn in yet another princess, but overall I enjoyed the hell out of this film.
Should you see it? If you have kids then absolutely. If you liked Toy Story then I think this will appeal to you as well. Date movie? Absofreakinglutely. This could possibly be the best date movie of the entire year. I was having drinks with a girl before going to this thing and now I’m kicking myself for not asking her along, but it was a first time meeting deal and you can never tell what the best move on that is. Also, she said she doesn’t see a lot of movies (Incidentally, she is pretty spectacular. I sincerely hope to see her again. Of course, if it doesn’t work out I’m sure my next rom-com review will be that much more sour and bitter). Bathroom break? I don’t really know. Each scene is really cool in its own way, and are all kind of integral to the story. It’s only 101 minutes, so I would say hold it. If you really can’t I think the bar scene in the Tapper video game could be missed. I wouldn’t miss it however.
Thanks for reading. Skyfall review tomorrow for sure. I can’t tell if I’m excited or dreading it. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Feel free to post any comments on this film or my review here. If you have an off topic question or suggestion feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day. Talk to you soon.