Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Allan Brown4
Wreck It Ralph Review
Movie Review: Wreck It Ralph (2013)
Director: Rich Moore
Cast: Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch
Plot: Video game baddie Wreck It Ralph wants to be a hero and sets out for new worlds to achieve his dream.
Disney have boldly ventured into new territory with Wreck It Ralph. The adventurous concept see’s 8-bit retro arcade game characters from the 1980s along with an ensemble of the HD equivalent of today’s gaming world travel from one game cabinet to the next via the power cords to meet up in the surge protector which acts as the station for the arcade universe.
The story centres round our anti-hero Ralph, a villain in his own game who wishes for nothing more than the penthouse life and admiration which belongs to the customary hero Fix-it Felix. Ralph who’s reluctantly promised that if he manages to attain a gold medal he too will be accepted in the penthouse and regarded as an equal.
This plot device sets Wreck It Ralph forward in motion, jumping from one game world to the next in an attempted to grab an allusive medal. This momentum drives the film forward with pace and introduces some fun classic retro characters from yesteryear including; Pacman, Dr Robotnik (sonic the hedgehog), Bowser (Super Mario Brothers), Sonic, Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter II) ect. However, don’t be eluded by the posters and trailers that seem to promise one big homage to classic games both arcade and console as most of the fringe characters formerly mentioned only serve as fleeting cameos in the movie.
The gaming world of Sugar Rush, a colourful, child friendly world where everything is made off, you guessed it, sugar. This is where we are introduced to our anti-heroine, Vanellope von Schweetz, a girl glitch in the game’s system, who’s heart is set on winning the race car competition that will see her become a regular member of the game. Sugar Rush is where the second act of the film begins and where our two unlikely anti-hero’s meet and although the bond between these two unorthodox characters is cute and serves the character arch in the movie well, it ultimately puts the brakes on the snappy pace rendering what was a unique and exciting concept to quickly slide into the generic and dull.
A voice cast including ‘Sarah Silverman’, ‘Jack McBrayer’ and ‘John C. Reilly’ all do a great job at bringing the characters to life and the fun exchange of banter between them is the heart of the film. Some of the sidekicks however are a little less interesting and none more so than ‘Alan Tudyk’ as King Candy. This characters introduction and screen presence slows the pace of the movie and provides the most distracting and tedious voice performance in the film that presents itself as a clear but bad imitation of Roger Rabbit.
Summary: For what is promised in both the marketing campaign and the prologue, the concept feels like it is never fully realised or truly gets off the ground. The long stay in one particular game world puts the brakes on what was, until then, an exciting and slick pace. However, with stunning visuals, a nearly perfect voice cast, winks and nods galore and enough to grab the attention of both children and adults this fun somewhat generic soppy buddy movie still delivers high and is up there with the best recent animation movies.