Nov 7, 2012

Movie Review: Wreck-It-Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in the old arcade game, Fix-It Felix, Jr., but after 30 years of getting belittled, berated, defeated, and treated like dirt both when the game is in-play and when kids leave the arcade, Ralph has had enough. He wants to be a hero and get respect and admiration like Felix! Ralph abandons his game, traveling through the power cord to a surge protector, coming into different games in an attempt to earn a hero's medal, but this upsets the balance of his world and now Felix must find Ralph and bring him back.

Wreck-It Ralph has an amazing cast and they all played their parts perfectly. There's no question when hearing the character voices that you're listening to John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, or Jane Lynch, but you can't imagine the parts being played by anyone else. These thespians own their characters and make them their own. The first half of the movie is really what sells it to gaming nerds, as it's filled with video game references, new and old! Big name cameo appearances by Bowser, Zangeif, Doctor Eggman, and Pacman just to name a few. There were so many big names that you were expecting some other real headliners, but due to licensing constraints these characters were only given brief mention to show acknowledgement of their importance in the gaming world. The film does such a great job in the first half of the film with the cameos made that there's no real missing the absent names. Somewhat sadly, the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and all of the video game references are used up in the first half of the film. Going into the second half, everything is original - games, characters, etc.

On paper, Wreck-It Ralph told a fantastic story. I won't spoil it, but the natural, believable character progression from A-to-Z across the board really is impressive. From the impression I could gather within my viewing group, men will enjoy the first half of the film and women will enjoy the second half of the film more. That's both a blessing and a curse that it can appeal to both genders, but at the same time make them take turns being appeased. What really turned me away from the second half was the stagnation of setting. Throughout the first half of the movie you see multiple worlds and different societal dynamics within those worlds, but the entire second half stays in place. And in that place, childish immature jokes to the lowest common denominator reign supreme. These jokes quickly go from cute to tiresome, but the action sequences remain top notch throughout the film.

Overall, Wreck-It Ralph has it's faults and runs a little long, but is an enjoyable, sentimental trip. It appeases to the old gamers, new gamers, and non-gamers alike. The cast and story were great, though the finer details could have been hammered out better, like a final act more congruent with the first act. Overall rating...

4 / 5

images from official Disney Wreck-It Ralph site
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