Can you Wreck it? Yes, you can! Luke Brookman catches up on Wreck-It Ralph…
The Low Down: Wreck-It Ralph sees John C. Reilly as the titular Ralph, the unhappy nice-guy villain of 80’s arcade game Fix-it Felix. Ralph, deciding he is tired of the unrewarding life of a bad guy, decides to leave Fix-It Felix, hopping from game to game in search of a redemptive gold medal.
Review: Directed by Rich Moore, a regular director on The Simpsons who directed the great parody episode “Cape Feare”, Wreck-It Ralph is a large scale Disney production, with Ralph hopping from one intricate and fantastical world to another. The worlds here are of course inspired by the big players in the video gaming world, such as Halo and Mario, but the detail is original and inspired. However, amongst all the pixelated majesty lies a human story, a story of outcasts searching for a place to belong. The characters here are well developed and real, from Sarah Silverman’s glitchy reject, to Jane lynch’s grunt who is “programmed with the most tragic back-story ever.”
Throughout Ralph’s journey we meet many icons of the video gaming world, and some lesser-known faces. This presents a problem: the film loses its focuses in its obsession with shoving obscure video game references in our face at every turn. But a brilliantly written script (by Phil Johnston and newcomer Jennifer Lee) redeems this pixelated tome, as it confidently threads great humour, emotion and a genuinely thrilling story that will entertain all ages.
The Best: Like Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph asks the question: what happens to video game characters once we leave the room, providing a platform for great jokes and fanciful adventures. It is laden with puns and irony, rarely hitting a bum note. All ages are catered for, humour wise, with smart wit mixed effectively with slapstick silliness.
The Worst: There are many moments in the film that almost push this into cringe worthy cheese. This is to be somewhat expected in an animated Disney film, but an ill-advised pop soundtrack mixed with sugar-coated redemption may prove to be too much for some to handle.
Verdict: Wreck-It Ralph is a laugh-a-minute, heart-warming adventure on a grand scale, which presents a fantastical world ready for franchise. However, it becomes convoluted in video game references that seem self-indulgent, alienating a large part of the audience.
Celluloid Influences – Toy Story + Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World = Wreck-It Ralph