Movie Review: Wreak-It Ralph

Disney’s latest film in theaters now, Wreck-It Ralph, is filled with video game nostalgia and the usual feel good messages about friendship and accepting who you are that you would expect from a Disney film.

The title’s main character is voiced by actor John C. Reilly who is considered the “villain” of an 8-bit arcade game called Fix-It Felix Jr. The basic story of the game is Ralph’s stump gets moved so his spot can be used to build a luxury apartment. Ralph gets mad and shouts the phrase, “I’m gonna wreck it,” and does exactly that. Along comes Felix who fixes the destruction Ralph has left behind with his trusty hammer. Once Felix is able to fix everything and dodges Ralph’s attacks in the game, the residents of the building award Felix with a medal and then proceed to toss Ralph off the roof of the building.

During a therapy session for villains of video games, Ralph expresses his exhaustion with being the villain and wanting to be the hero for a change. This desire to be the good guy and not the bad guy is the spring board for the journey he takes. Ralph equates having a medal as proof he can be a hero, and becomes obsessed with the idea of getting one. He ventures into another game called Hero’s Duty to obtain one for himself and to prove his skeptical colleagues at Fix-It Felix Jr. that he isn’t just a villain. Of course, getting the medal isn’t simple. Just as he finds a way to get the medal and is ready to call it a day, he activates an egg housing a Cy-Bug (the baddies of Hero’s Duty), and finds himself fighting off the bug. Ralph stumbles into an escape pod and ends up riding it and the Cy-Bug out of Hero’s Duty and crashes the pod into another game called Sugar Rush, a go-kart racing game full of candy coated, confectionery goodness.

Ralph encounters a glitch at Sugar Rush named Vanellope von Schweetz voiced by comedienne Sarah Silverman. Vanellope steals his medal to use it as an entrance token into Sugar Rush’s race. Being the glitch of the game, a so-called “mistake,” Vanellope is the unwelcome outcast in her game. This doesn’t stop her from wanting to race with everyone else though. Vanellope is considered an annoying brat at first by Ralph, but he ends up admiring her spunk and decides to help her train for the race. However, Sugar Rush’s ruler, King Candy, will do whatever it takes to keep Vanellope from racing as he holds a dark secret he is determined to keep buried.

Wreck-It Ralph is an amazing movie. The animation is beautiful to look at, the story is engaging, and the characters are likeable or unlikeable depending on how you perceive them. Long time gamers will delight in this wonderful homage to all the video games that came before and the ones we have now. There are plenty of popular video game references scattered throughout the movie. There are also plenty of scenes in the movie that has “blink and you’ll miss it” video game characters walking around the film.

The amount of known video game characters, some old and new, are hard to keep up with. Having friends who grew up on the NES and other classic games are able to identify the older video game characters better than I can. In fact, they educated me on the old school games of the 80’s.

Even if you aren’t a fan of video games or a gamer yourself, there is still a lot to enjoy from this movie. You root for the underdogs Ralph and Vanellope, and the friendship they forge with each other is deeply moving too. Make Wreck-It Ralph your must-see movie!

Reviewer Rating: 10/10

11 thoughts on “Movie Review: Wreak-It Ralph

  1. Rating 10/10 mannn I’m definitely gonna watch it :D hey I skipped after the first para *spoiler alert*?? :P anyway will comment after I see the movie =D

  2. Great review! I’ve been wanting to see this — seems like such a great premise. I loved the video game references and jokes even in the trailer, and based on your review it sounds like I’ll enjoy the movie. =)

    • Most definitely! :) A lot of the fictional games in the movie, like Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush, are a combination of or make reference to popular known video games. Even Sergeant Calhoun, who is voiced by Jane Lynch, reminds me of Female Shepard from Mass Effect.

    • They are actually official. A friend of mine read an article about the movie and the studio went to every company who owns the characters and asked for permission. Disney got a 100% approval. Nintendo apparently was harder to woo, but they got them to agree too. However, Nintendo was the nitpickiest out of all the companies when it came to their properties. Apparently, Disney didn’t create Bowser big enough and they had to keep going back to fix him for the movie.

      • lol. I was wondering about Nintendo since they tend to be pretty protective over their stuff. And that nitpickiness actually sound like them too. xD Good to hear all the cameos are official. I’m definitely putting this on my to watch list. :3 It’s funny, once Disney makes a movie about video games, you know the medium is mainstream. A few years ago, nobody would have thought to make such a movie. I bet the success of Scott Pilgrim also helped.

      • I guess the only video game like movie Disney ever had was Tron, but it’s nice that the studio decided to create a story centered around video games and what they have achieved over the years.

        Scott Pilgrim was well received by critics, but I remember hearing that the movie didn’t do well at the box office. It’s only when the release of the DVD/Blu-Ray came out did the sales do massively well. I also think Scott Pilgrim is a marriage of manga and video games, which is a great combo in my opinion. ;)

    • Haha! Aww. I usually check the WP Reader daily to know who posted something new. I kind of don’t want to have the posts delivered to my email because then my inbox gets swamped with too much emails. XD

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