Wreck It Ralph Review

The Plot

A computer game bad guy who feels unappreciated by his fellow characters goes on an adventure throughout the arcade in the search for a way to prove that for once he can be the hero. Along the way he inadvertently causes havoc in other games and makes his first real friend.

The Good

Wreck It Ralph is essentially Toy Story for computer game characters, further exploring the secret lives of much beloved childhood playthings. The inclusion of familiar real characters from long running game series like Super Mario Bros, Streetfighter and Sonic the Hedgehog gives the film a welcome authenticity. Seasoned gamers will also enjoy the plentiful excuses for 8 bit nostalgia.

The new characters and gameworlds created specifically for the movie all feel convincing and are impressively well crafted. Much of the adventure takes place in ‘Sugar Rush’ a candy coated racing game which is deliciously colourful and adorably sweet. The film manages to integrate retro graphics and glossy CGI in effective ways, delivering both enjoyable visuals and energetic action sequences.

Wreck It Ralph also has at least one secret weapon; with Glee star Jane Lynch providing the voice of a battle hardened space warrior from a monstrous shoot ‘em up game. Much like her Glee character Sue Sylvester, she provides the film with a steady stream of trash talk that’s sure to raise a smile. John C. Reilly is also a good fit for the film’s titular ‘hero’ Ralph, having perfected his routine as an underappreciated lumbering sidekick in films like Talladega Nights, Chicago and Boogie Nights.

The Bad

Walt Disney acquired a great deal of technical expertise in CGI animation when they consumed animation rivals Pixar. However while Wreck It Ralph may look like a Pixar movie, it still lacks some of the emotional core and elusive magic of a true Pixar film.

The film never quite captures the heart-breaking sentimentality of the first ten minutes of UP or the last ten minutes of Toy Story 3. Younger audiences likely won’t tell the difference, but grown up’s certainly will. Wreck It Ralph doesn’t quite have the multi-layered genius of Pixar’s finest work but is more on a par with the Cars franchise; with both relying on bright colours and children’s innate interests to deliver a fairly generic message that ‘it’s okay to be yourself’.

Comedienne turned actress Sarah Silverman divides opinions intensely; her cringe-worthy comedy charms are loved by some but loathed by others. Pouring much of her own personality into pint size pixelated character Vanellope Von Schweetz will either amuse or simply irritate audiences. Young kids are perhaps likely to be more tolerant of her shrill nasal voice and liberal use of words like stinky and booger.

The Ugly Truth

Wreck It Ralph is an easily watchable animated adventure that will particularly delight younger children and anyone with particularly fond memories of arcade gaming. Although a lack of clever subtext and Sarah Silverman’s noisy presence may mean that grownups find it a little less enchanting than a Pixar instant classic.

Wreck It Ralph Cast Video Interviews Below:

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