Ralph Breaks the Internet Reviews
Revisiting the same cast of colorful characters featured in the first film, ´┐ 1/2 1/2Ralph Breaks the Internet´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? follows Ralph and his pint-sized best friend Vanellope as they journey across the internet in search of a replacement part for Vanellope´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s racing game ´┐ 1/2 1/2~Sugar Rush´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM). Though I was initially wary of the seemingly gimmicky premise of a movie taking place in the internet ( I will never truly recover from the traumatic experience that was ´┐ 1/2 1/2The Emoji Movie´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬?), ´┐ 1/2 1/2Ralph Breaks the Internet´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? approaches the web from a very clever and interesting angle.
Though it is difficult to give concrete examples of how the movie handles internet slang and concepts without delving into spoiler territory, the way in which the concepts are handled not only feels fresh and innovative but also purposeful from a narrative standpoint. Instead of just being referential jokes and throwaway one-liners, the internet-specific details serve as plot points, which means that the setting feels less like a shtick and more of a necessary way to move the plot along.
The plot, however, is not the highlight of this film. Although it is clever, the real meat of ´┐ 1/2 1/2Ralph Breaks the Internet´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? is in its character relationships and emotional narrative. Instead of using characters for the sole purpose of comedy, the movie transforms Ralph and Vanellope´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s odd-couple dynamic into the central core of the film. For a movie aimed at children, I was surprised at how grown-up it´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s emotional message was. While ´┐ 1/2 1/2Ralph Breaks the Internet´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? is certainly aimed towards kids, I think that viewers of any age will be able to appreciate the lesson that Ralph and Vanellope learn.
However, when the movie is not spending time developing an emotional backbone or focusing on its clever premise, it tends to suffer. I found the scenes with Gal Gadot´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s ´┐ 1/2 1/2Shank´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? to be a general low point in the film. For a character all about speed, she sure did slow down the film´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s momentum. One of the many great things about the original ´┐ 1/2 1/2Wreck-It Ralph´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? was the colorful and interesting characters, and perhaps the greatest flaw of ´┐ 1/2 1/2Ralph Breaks the Internet´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? is that the writers feel the need to add more, less interesting characters instead of using the great ones it already has. For example, instead of spending time with Fix-It Felix or Sergeant Calhoun, we got an entire plot line surrounding the character ´┐ 1/2 1/2Yesss´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬?, who was not nearly as gratifying as her name implies. The scene where Vanellope enters the ´┐ 1/2 1/2Oh My Disney´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? website will also be divisive with viewers. While I found it for the most part entertaining and clever, it does feel a little forced in the grand scheme of things, and it does not do much for the movie in terms of plot. However, for eagle-eyed viewers or Disney fanatics, it is a veritable ´┐ 1/2 1/2Where´┐ 1/2 1/2(TM)s Waldo´┐ 1/2 1/2´┐ 1/2┬? of easter eggs and Disney references.
With the exception of the new, weaker characters, Ralph Breaks the Internet managed to avoid falling victim to many of the typical sequel problems. With an engaging, unique premise and a script chock full of clever humor, it is definitely a sequel worthy of the original.
It is undeniable that the film has its good moments, funny and fun, but the world to be explored, the internet, left much to be desired, many times I felt lost if the movie really would like to present a fun story and recover magic of the arcade games along with the magic of the new online games or pass on an idea, an ideal or a subliminal feminist / feminine message that girls are as good as boys and that everyone should follow their dreams regardless of what is right (losers are be a winners too). Disney has been very strange lately, they used to create stories that last forever, today, they create messages that last only in the time of the movie. I felt frustrated, yet another movie to be forgotten over the years.
It seems Disney animation is having an identity crisis. It is clambering to capture too many audiences while failing to entertain any of them. This becomes obvious when the script flip flops between meaningless fart jokes and songs that repeat the word slaughter too many times to be comfortable in a Disney film. Vanellope is a child protagonist whose acceptance of a dark teenage game makes you wonder at what the movie is trying to say. I cringed through jokes about death and grungy nods to games the target audience shouldn't even come close to knowing about. At one point Vanellope remarks 'Mother Fudger". Not a line I ever thought I would hear in a family film and one that legitimises the vulgar content for children. This is especially true when the main characters end up working for a viral pop up website which never truly gets held to account.
The movie does have delightful peppered moments that preach how the internet is a dangerous place but never delves deep enough to really feel there is a point.
The world building and visuals are of course rich and interesting but the way they change the locations in such a fast paced way can leave you feeling a little dizzy.
If that hasn't *wrecked* your appetite, this movie reads like a corporate advert. It peddles self referencial humour to a level I haven't seen until now. We see so many corporate logos we can almost hear the Disney shareholders rubbing their hands together. Company synergy over plot appears to be this movie's main drive.
Disney used to make timeless tales that pushed artistic boundaries and furthered the medium of animation. Alas this movie plays closer to a Tumblr blog post than the next Bambi.
Applauses for how it touched "real issues". The Reddit community was saying it was "too real", but isn't that great? Going past boundaries people are afraid to touch, like the aspect of farewell a la Toy Story 3. Bittersweet but life goes on, and there are ways to overcome this together :)
The princess scenes are INCREDIBLE. That collaboration to "save a big and strong man" was iconic, along with Henry Jackman's background track that echoed each princess' theme. It was phenomenal. Nobody gave two hoots that Ralph was wearing a dress, Ralph didn't either (and even complained it was too small!) - and that made me smile!
And Vanellope's song! That blew me away! Never did I expect a true blue disney-esque song to appear in Wreck-It Ralph as much as I didn't expect to hear a song in How To Train Your Dragon 2!
Overall, very pleasant, but not as impressive as the first. Glad I saw this in the theaters, but bummed I missed the second after-credits scene. Couldn't get rick-rolled by Ralph himself. Bummer.