My husband was very excited to watch Wreck it Ralph. Video games have always been a huge part of his life, and a movie about the bad guys from those games was bound to peak his interest. I, on the other hand, was fairly indifferent although I had heard good things, so when we finally sat down to watch it I think my expectations got the better of me. The story is cute and the characters are endearing, but it is hardly the classic I thought it might be.
Ralph is the bad guy of a made up, 30 year old arcade game in which he demolishes a downtown apartment building and Fix it Felix swoops in and saves the residence and the residents. But once the arcade closes down for the night, the characters of the games don’t sleep. Ralph is still the villain and outcast who lives in the dump (offscreen), full of the wreckages of days gone by, whereas Felix has the penthouse in the apartment building and the residents are throwing (him) a party. Ralph was not invited.
But Ralph has had enough! He invites himself to the penthouse party and angrily insists that he should be accepted just like Felix! One of the residents condescendingly tells him that if he wins a gold coin, he can leave the dump and join them. The snag is, if he goes to another game to get a coin and dies, he doesn’t regenerate like in his own game but is gone forever.
This is when the movie should have gotten good, but instead Ralph only visits two other games, the second of which he gets stuck in. It’s pretty cute, somewhat reminiscent of today’s Candy Crush, but with racing and fiercely jealous driving girls. Ralph encounters the famed “glitch” named Vanellope who steals his coin so that she can enter the Sugar Race. Little does he know but Ralph is going to dig up some pretty gnarly stuff in his attempts to get his coin back.
There are some cute romantic moments between Felix and the warrior Calhoun (Jane Lynch) from the first person game Here’s Duty who was programed to have the saddest back story ever. With their help, Ralph has to save Vanellope and the arcade before he can even think of returning back to his own game.
The movie is colorful and cute, with the proper amount of villains, action, comedy, and sappy relationships. The plot gets a little wild, blending the arcade story lines together into something toxic, and things get a little hairy for a kid movie. I liked it for the most part, but like I said, it isn’t quite the classic that I thought it would be. There were a lot of elements to the story and I think it would have been a lot stronger if they had taken some of them out. However, I did appreciate that Ralph’s golden coin wasn’t as big a focal point as it could have been. He had his own selfish reasons for wanting it, but in his pursuit of social acceptance, he found something much more important, and something worth fighting for.
If you have kids, I would recommend this film, although watch out for some scary sequences. Otherwise, it might be worth your while to skip this one and re-watch a classic that you already know and love.