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 411mania » Movies » Film Reviews

Wreck-It Ralph Review [2]
Posted by Ernest Lin on 11.03.2012

Directed By: Rich Moore

Written By: Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston
Runtime: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence


John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph
Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz
Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix, Jr.
Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun
Alan Tudyk as King Candy


The first time I saw anything on Wreck-It Ralph was at this yearís Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3, the video game industryís largest trade show. When I noticed it was a Disney production, my first impressions were that the film looked somewhat lame and was going to be trying too hard to appeal to gamers and geeks. As my eyes glazed over the Wreck-It Ralph displays, I dismissed it, thinking I would hear about its negative reception. Several months later, Iím happy to say my initial opinion was proven wrong.

Wreck-It Ralph is a character from a fictional retro arcade game titled Fix-It Felix, Jr. In the game, Ralph is a big ogre of a man who destroys a high-rise apartment building in a layout thatís reminiscent of Donkey Kong. Fix-It Felix, Jr. is the Mario; the hero that arcade players control to fix Ralphís destruction. Similar to Toy Story, video game characters in the film have their own lives when no one is around. Ralph is tired of living alone in a trash heap and Felix getting all the glory. He decides to hop to other arcade games to prove heís just as much of a hero as Felix. The arcade game Ralph ends up staying the most time at is a Mario Karte-sque racing game called Sugar Rush. Thatís where he meets Vanellope von Schweetz, a 9 year old girl who is just as much of an outcast in her game as he is in his. Together they help each other redeem themselves and become best of friends.

With a plot that is more generic than original, Wreck-It Ralph is saved by its creativity, comedy, fun spirit, and as homage to gaming. My inner child and gamer loved so much of this movie that I found myself smiling from ear to ear during a lot of it. A bunch of the humor is accessible to everyone (kids included) but definitely will nail the funny bone of any gamer out there. Wreck-It Ralph flexes its potential for situational humor from the different games Ralph gets himself into. The movie has its own weird logic for arcade game characters where during closing hours, characters can take trains to a central station that connects all the arcade cabinets. There are cameos and gaming references lightly sprinkled throughout as to never allow them to become overbearing or alienate its younger audience. Instead, it makes the Wreck-It Ralph likeable for both adults and children that you see in great animated works from studios like Pixar. Some jokes are really juvenile and the storytelling may leave more to be desired however.

Visuals get a 1-up from me for being a treat to the eyes and creating some exciting sequences. Iím sure the art team had a lot of fun creating the various games with each having its clear real-life inspiration. Imagine how much fun it would be to basically get the opportunity to parody different game genres and conventions. Not that many different genres of games are seen or visited sadly for the sake of telling a cohesive story. Perhaps that leaves possibility for a sequel that features new game worlds?

What especially made so many elements of Wreck-It Ralph win me over is largely due to the great voice actors and actresses. Kudos to whoever was in charge of casting because everyone fit their roles. Not only that there was good chemistry and comedic timing among everyone. 30 Rockís Jack McBrayer (Fix-It Felix, Jr.) and Jane Lynch are particularly hilarious in their respective roles as Fix-It Felix, Jr. and Sergeant Calhoun from the filmís Gears of War-like Heroís Duty game. John C. Reilly is a versatile actor so making Ralph likeable is a piece-of-cake. My favorite character ended up being Vanellope von Schweetz played by Sarah Silverman. I was afraid that she would end being the annoying little kid that everyone would hate by the end of the film. Instead, Vanellope is simply adorable and Silverman brings a lot of heart to the role. With a cast like this, you know there were some hilarious bloopers that hopefully see the light of day on the home video release.

The 411Wreck-It Ralph is a ton of fun. It works as both a solid family film and one of the best video game movies ever made. With its unique concept, lively cast performances, and feel-good story, this movie is likely to get an Oscar nomination for best animated picture. If you are a kid at heart and a gamer, treat yourself with a trip to the cinema to see Wreck-It Ralph!
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend


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