Reviews

Wreck-It Ralph

4

Disney animation pushes all the right buttons

When it comes to the game of filmmaking, Wreck-It Ralph plays on the hardest difficulty. For this is a project - long-awaited, highly anticipated and highly ambitious - that could have gone spectacularly wrong.

Luckily, with Disney and director Rich Moore (The Simpsons), the controller is in the right hands. The story, scripted by Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids) and newcomer Jennifer Lee, is as human as it is pixelated.

John c. Reilly’s Ralph - he of ‘Wreck-It’ fame - is fed up with his villainous role in the virtual world of Litwak’s arcade: a place where, a la Toy Story, videogame characters come to life in spectacularly realised detail after we’ve stopped playing with them.

From its opening scene in ‘Bad Anon’ - a support group for digi-villains such as Bowser, M Bison and Doctor Robotnik - to its Game Central Station setting (a city populated by hundreds of classic characters travelling from game to game), this is a world created with the sort of love, precision and cheeky referencing that, especially if you’ve ever been a gamer, you’ll never want to leave.

Ralph doesn’t feel quite so thrilled, however.

Faced with the daily ridicule of playing the bad guy in the shadow of his heroic nemesis Fix-It Felix Jr (Jack McBrayer), he decides to abandon the confines of his game in the hope of finding the gold medal that will earn him status and respect among his fellow pixel pals.

His quest first lands him in the Halo-esque ‘Hero’s duty’, led by Jane Lynch’s no-nonsense Sergeant Calhoun (“she’s programmed with the most tragic backstory ever”), and eventually into the sickly-sweet kart-racing game ‘Sugar Rush’, where he meets kindred outsider Vanellope von Schweetz - a nine-year-old wannabe racer banished for being a ‘glitch’ - and decides to help her win her way back onto the circuit.

Perkily voiced (with an edge of snark) by Sarah Silverman, Schweetz cements the film’s themes of individuality and self-acceptance, although she does cue up a barrage of candy-based punnery - visual and verbal - that some may find a little jarring. (The bumbling cop duo who come in the form of a talking donut and chocolate éclair are  lip-smackingly cool, mind.)

Still, such a glitch in the script is hardly enough to undo the film’s high-scoring virtues: warmth, wit, scale and ambition. And though loose ends are neatly tied - no mean feat given a spate of subplots - there’s also tantalising scope for a franchise.

In the words of its final shot: PRESS START.

Verdict:

A Disney flick that feels like on-form Pixar, blending knowing humour and sophistication with a large helping of heart. You’ll want another go.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • NickyC

      Jan 24th 2013, 12:35

      Did you just tell people what the final shot is? You f*****g IDIOT!

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    • FBDBullock

      Jan 30th 2013, 14:02

      NickyC - Either you're being ironic or you've completely missed the point. It's advising you to Press Start = Go see it. Nothing more. By the way, this review in spot on, it's glorious.

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    • socialcareer

      Jan 31st 2013, 11:52

      Some people says its unbelievable , some who earned says its a wonderful opportunity to earn about $5500 in 1 month on website/internet, did you read the site http://2.gp/qmQm

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    • seepeejay

      Feb 2nd 2013, 20:18

      Saw it today (its already out here in Spain) and it is brilliant. My son liked it but I especially enjoyed it having grown up with Qbert, Streetfighter 2 etc. So go and see it. The "Press Start" comment gives away absolutely nothing about the film except that its about computer games, which given the film's title, is pretty obvious. On a sidebar I was pleasantly surprised to see Disney's Paperman beforehand. I had already watched it following the linkon here the other day but t was great to see it on the big screen!

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    • jakesfake

      Feb 8th 2013, 11:28

      3

      thoughtburp . wordpress . com / 2013 / 02 / 08 / wreck-it-ralph /

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    • robjeffrey

      Feb 12th 2013, 13:21

      2

      The start was good but the middle of the film is so slow I really wanted to leave the cinema. The enjoyment picked up towards the end but not enough to redeem the film. Also what a shame they didn't feature Mario instead of just the odd reference to him. Mario was too expensive to licence I read. Tut tut, if you couldn't afford to do it right don't do it.

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    • laradelaroca

      Feb 16th 2013, 3:44

      This movie came up last night around the dinner table as being charming and completely loveable, but now I know that I’m definitely going to have to check it out. I usually get out of my office at DISH just in time to hit traffic, so it’s rare that I want to sit in a theater after sitting in my car for an hour. I will add Wreck-It Ralph to my Blockbuster @Home queue that I have through DISH so that I can expect it in my mailbox when it’s released on Blu-ray. I love that they make it easy for me to catch great movies like this, without me having to fight any traffic.

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    • jaykays hat

      Feb 19th 2013, 12:27

      I agree with robjeffrey, I nodded off during the middle section and when I woke I couldn't wait for the film to end so I could get out of the cinema. This film did nothing for me at all. My 12 year old son thought the same as me but my 6 year old loved it even though she didn't know who any of the game characters were. Good voice work by Silverman though.

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    • Igrayne

      Mar 17th 2013, 8:31

      I wish people would stop moaning like yaks in heat about spoilers. stop reading reviews and watch the film you bloody cretins. Thought Wreck it Ralph was hugely overrated, not half the nostalgic or famous game characters were in it and the least interesting world in the film was the one they spend half the film in. It is obvious from watching it that Disney could not afford or achieve the rights for either Halo or Mario Bros as well as others and tried to rip them off on the cheap. Maybe they are reeling after spending so much getting ready to destroy Star Wars,

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    • Filmsrock

      Aug 19th 2013, 18:37

      1

      Torture. The only good things are the scenes where Ralph nearly dies, Jane Lynch and their use of Rihanna.

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