Director: Rich Moore
Writers: Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling and Alan Tudyk
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Play Fix-It Felix, Jr on Disney.com: http://di.sn/d4e[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBzNSMdcm2w]
“Wreck-It Ralph” contains all of the aspects that made “Who Framed Roger Rabit” work. But, is it original? How original can movie be that’s based on co-opting classic video game icons and building a world around them? Does it even matter? These were the questions I had after I finished watching “Wreck-It Ralph”.
I had a harder time suspending disbelief that young kids knew about arcades. While the classic game halls aren’t extinct, they are a rare sighting outside of Family Fun Centers and Cinema Side Alcoves. But, the kids of “Wreck-It Ralph” are the patrons that decide which games get to live or die. The characters live in a constant fear of their gaming world going Out of Order and then being disconnected. Poor Q-Bert and his crew set inside the Grand Central Station of a surge protector waiting for another chance at gamer favor.
It’s sad, but yet it’s not. Whether the movie focuses on glitches or characters turboing their way into other games, there’s never any consequence. These guys can’t ever die, because they are a surge of electricity from returning back to life. It’s personal favor that brings them back and yet the movie never comments on it. The little girl that introduces use to Hero’s Duty and other games only meets Ralph’s world because Sugar Rush is packed.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LEY2rO5Sl4]
Speaking of Sugar Rush, that’s where the movie found its strength. What I could’ve never guessed is that Sarah Silverman carries a lot of the movie. Silverman playing a sweet little racer that understands more of the world than Ralph is brilliant casting. What makes the movie work even more is those scenes where Reilly knows to pull his character back and let the audience meet the people that exist in the collective arcade. We get the Street Fighter and Root Beer Tapper jokes, but we need those characters to sell it for us.
While I could’ve done without the forced Rihanna music inclusions and Jane Lynch’s overacting, the film works. However, I’m not sure if I’m a rush to return to Ralph’s world. John C. Reilly and Jack McBrayer offer scaled back performances that function as pixellated cartoon guides. But, I want the personality that I got from Sarah Silverman and Sugar Rush. Hell, the villain of the piece doesn’t get much time to shine until he’s tied to a poorly setup plot device.
I might be stepping into negative territory, but it’s true. Two name drops of turboing and then nobody brings it up until it matters. If it’s a constant threat that can doom a game, then why isn’t more widely known? Also, arrive early and treat yourself to the included short film “Paperman”. It’s a wonderful hand-drawn meets CG treat that doesn’t quite compliment the movie. However, it serves as a hefty appetizer before we head off to the arcade.
RELEASE DATE: 11/02/2012[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF_LJfwFsE4]