Reviews: Wreck It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph is by no means a bad movie, but even without the year-long hype train it took to arrive, it really wasn't all that great. The main appeal to Smash-It Steve is VIDEO GAMES. Every advert, trailer and poster was packed full of cameos, references, even the odd Easter Egg. In fact, they were so packed that they accidentally used up all of the material from the movie. With the exception of a two second Sonic the Hedgehog cameo, and a reference to Mario, who doesn't appear. There were posters that advertised characters who didn't even have any lines. That's not to say the main characters are great either. Crush-It Craig is a bad guy, but he wants to be a good guy. As character motivation goes, it's... alright? But nothing remotely special. And that's another thing - sorry for making a comparison that everyone and their mother has already made - in Toy Story, the plot depends on toys coming to life when people aren't looking; a thought every child who owns toys has already considered by the age of 5. But with video games, the plot just doesn't make sense. Whack-It Warren wasn't programmed to secretly want to be a good guy. At one point he yells 'I love my Mom!' but... he doesn't have parents! Does he? Are they programmed into his game? How does that work? You might justifiably think I'm looking too far into this, but my problem is that the movie does this too. There are plot points including glitches and hacking and viruses and rewriting code, all things that constantly remind us that Felix, Vanellope, Calhoun and Bash-It Benji are just lines of numbers. We're told Calhoun is programmed with a tragic backstory, but at the end of the film, she gets married. Isn't her story just going to reset the next time her game gets played? The movie isn't all bad - the voice-acting is great, especially Jack McBrayer as the good-natured Fix-it Felix, and even though the second half of the movie runs out of material on video games and switches to jokes about sweets, they're mostly funny. Overall, I don't blame the hype entirely for Mangle-It Melvin not being particularly memorable or interesting, but I chuckle when I see people who are upset that it didn't win an Oscar. Worth watching, but not great. Still light years ahead of Pixels though.
Not really all that good
''Wreck-it Ralph's'' tagline might as well be Toy Story with games. It's such an obvious comparison, I'm sure I've seen it in Disney's official writing somewhere. That's a problem though, because throughout the entire movie, I was being constantly reminded of how much better Toy Story is as a film. Wreck it Ralph jumps off with a familiar premise: what if inanimate characters were secretly sentient? In Toy Story, this was fairly easily communicated, and only came with one basic rule for the toys - don't let the kids see you move. In Wreck it Ralph, the rules are many and more complex. Besides the above, games shouldn't get involved in other games. If they die in their game, they can respawn, but if they die in another game, they permanently die. Also, there are gliches, which are bad for some reason. Then there is coding, missing memories, and rules about resetting the game, and viruses in the form of bugs from another game (who aren't characters for some reason), who blend with whatever they consume to create evil versions. Why do all these abstract, circuitous rules exist? I didn't have trouble understanding it all, but I had trouble understanding why it had to be in the movie. It makes things complicated, yet less complex. Wreck it Ralph himself is an okay character, but as far as motivations go, there is nothing ground breaking. From the start, he's being set up for a generic "the goodness was within you all along" kind of deal, and that isn't very satisfying. The supporting characters (a hard-as-nails Sergeant and a goody two-shoes repairman) are the most fun, but they get comparatively little screen time. A large part of the appeal in these things is seeing all the familiar game characters you once played with, but they're barely seen beyond the first twenty minutes. Instead the film spends most of the time in a fictional candy land game, focusing on candy related jokes instead of game related stuff. The cynic in me thinks this was just a cheap excuse for child orientated product placement. Wreck It Ralph looks like it had undergone lots of drafts, new writers, and substantial changes in production. It's not completely heartless or unenjoyable, but it is meandering, unsteady, boilerplate and ultimately forgettable.
It's clumsy, messy and confusing... and I want to see more!
I certainly enjoyed Disney's Wreck-It-Ralph. It's a strong movie which also has some sizable flaws. I initially had no interest in this movie, because I largely dislike the argumentative gaming culture, but I recently found it on TV and, curious, sat down to watch. And I can definitely say I'm glad I saw it. Wreck-It-Ralph is, first and foremost, brilliantly innovative. Much like Arthur Christmas, WIR has tons of brand new things to show off. The humorous and complex video game world the movie presents immediately sucked me in, and though it's confusing, there's plenty to get out of it. Also, similar to Rango, the movie has a lovable titular character. Ralph can easily be sympathized with, and it's fun watching him pursue his dream to prove that he's a good guy. Vanellope, despite her obnoxious personality and voice, is an innovative character as well - a hyperactive glitch exiled from her own game ("Sugar Rush") and forced to live in an abandoned, unfinished location. And at one point, I really felt sorry for her. There's also an interesting plot twist near the end, which is somewhat predictable but really adds to this world, making it feel even more real, dangerous and corrupt. Unfortunately however, all of this great innovation comes with some significant downsides. The plot is a glorious mess, featuring three plot threads that, while decent on their own, don't work very well together. They ultimately collide in a really ugly fashion, resulting in a bizarre, overblown climax. The film also spends far too much time in the Sugar Rush game (the bright candy colours became painful over time) and because of this, the film doesn't take full advantage of its variety. And although the film's racial prejudice themes are necessary to make the plot work, they often give it more conflict then it needs. There's also a creepy, tacked-on relationship between two of the film's main characters that could have been derived from fan-fiction, and a grotesque, charmless final villain that wasn't any fun to watch. And yet despite all of these flaws, I was left wanting more. I wanted to go back into this world and explore it myself. And that's a good thing. I can forgive films that have flaws if the good stuff is fresh and groundbreaking, and in WIR, it certainly is. It's far from perfect, but the good stuff in this movie is ingenious.
Good Ingredients, But Undercooked
I'm going to start off by saying that I don't think Wreck-It Ralph is a bad film, just mediocre. If anyone who is not a gamer remembers Wreck-It-Ralph as anything more than "that one movie with all the video games", I will honestly be surprised. This is an ambitious movie, including Ralph's quest for recognition, Vanellope's efforts to take her place in the sun, and a particularly hungry apocalypse. Unfortunately, it staggers between these threads in a way that hampers its themes. What even are the movie's themes? Something about heroes and villains? Pursuing your goals despite adversity? Comparisons to Toy Story are obvious — both feature playthings secretly coming to life. Sadly, Wreck-It Ralph is clumsier with its behind-the-scenes world; Pixar's toys knew what they were and that their lives were largely shaped by the humans who owned them, but these characters come with actual stories. And yet, for some reason, the movie's inhabitants are in conflict with their games. The opening scene introduces a group of villains who don't want to be villains. Ralph views his game as an awful job he can't escape from. We discover Ralph's coworkers are absolutely hateful, and here's the second problem: the "villains" treat their roles as a job, but everyone else seems to think that they're really evil. Who forgot to send out that memo? Also, it's said you aren't supposed to deviate from your assigned role in the slightest, but if things are so bad that there needs to be a villains' support group, why does only Ralph feel mutinous? Ignoring the rest that doesn't make sense, Ralph's problems must take a back seat to Vanellope, who suffers from a "glitch" that can't decide whether it's an ontological malady or a latent superpower and also from vile coworkers; but unlike Ralph, Vanellope lacks the strength to fight back. Vanellope and her Big Race commandeer the A-plot and help stuff the plot; perhaps too much. Supporting cast Felix and Calhoun and their failed attempts to clean up Ralph's mess comprise the B. It's not all bad; the setting is a triumph. There's one (1) moment of heartbreaking existential angst. I just wish it could answer the questions it raises rather than awkwardly blundering through them like, well, like Ralph.
What a film! Awesome!
I actually started watching Wreck It Ralph in a cinema party two years ago, after being pressed by everal then friends. As I didn't use to be a fan of that kind of movies, I was quite skeptical and even openly against it. We did not finished the film and had to go more or less at the half. What I saw was interesting, but nothing away from what I thought of it. But then, only months ago, I had the chance to see the movie full. And I was open-mouthed beyond any understanding. I was open-mouthed because I had recently watched tons of films, among them works of much greater level, and none of them had managed to move me the way Wreck It Ralph did. As I said, I am not a fan of Disney animated films, but in this case, I was totally into it. Its plot was not very original, its classic videogame theme was not an unexploited thing in modern media neither, and it did not have a passport to NFR, but there was something in the movie which made it impressingly, emotionally powerful even for a embittered critic like Mr. Cieloazul. It is probably not the kind of thing I can express with words - but it is there, and it makes the film just shine with its own light. Let me pull some cheesy lines, lines which will come from a guy who didn't like Western animated films and who found CLANNAD unemotive. When Ralph started destroying his and Vanellope's car, I felt my heart being destroyed as well, but when I saw the last fifteen minutes of the film, I was pumping my fist to the heavens. This could not be a masterpiece, but it is made of what masterpieces are made, and that is enough for me. Also: after seeing them I have to agree with all the people who say that Brave stole the Academy Award from Wreck It Ralph, because it is the damn truth. Credit goes as well to the Spanish dubbing team for doing a wonderful work with this film, especially Sandra Jara (Vanellope), who throws herself into the role with a charisma which I have never seen in an animated film - to the point that I have thought of nominate her as the Actress of the Year in the Cieloazul Awards even if she is not exactly an actress, and she will probably win if I don't watch a more awesome peformance this year, which is difficult. If you are reading this and have not watched Wreck It Ralph, stop reading my babble and go to watch it.
Excellent, but it does give you Headscratchers.
The idea that "what if the video game characters are all really alive in virtual cyberspace and sentient" is an old one. The animated CGI series ReBoot addressed this years ago. Wreck-It Ralph is essentially the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' of video games, and its a charming full feature-length production. I can heartily recommend it to just about everyone. It has good pace, setting, good characters, wonderful cameos and a decently structured plot. There are however, some nagging issues that do spoil an otherwise perfect experience. Some characters don't gel well together like Felix and Ralph. All the video game characters whether they play the hero or villain recognize they have a job to do. None are inherently evil, that's just part of their program. They know what they have to do to entertain people. They're all in a nutshell, performers. So WHY the irrational and illogical hatred and contempt for Ralph within his own game? What gives? Why do the characters despise him so? It forces him on this "Could Have Avoided This Plot" adventure to prove himself. By far the biggest head-scrather is why isn't this a film about Mario and Bowser? The more I watch Wreck-It Ralph, the more I think that. I would've preferred to see those two cross paths. They don't hate each other but are rivals for the only girl in the game. Bowser only wants to be loved, but sucks at showing it. He seeks to impress Peach by showing how strong he is in 'Super Metroid'. He gets in Samus' way grieving over Adam Malkovich. He goofs up, unleashes hoards of metroids onto other unsuspecting games. They threaten to destroy the Mario Kart game first, and its up to Bowser, for once, to fix everything. You get the basic idea and premise. I think the inherent problem is video game companies are so cheap and guard their intellectual property so jealously, they're afraid to try out new spins on old stories, be innovative and be creative. Because of this Disney cannot help Wreck It Ralph/Break It Bowser reach its full potential. Its still most definitely worth your time though. Pick it up today if you haven't already!
When I first saw pictures of Ralph and Vannelope, I didn't think much of it. But I decided to check it out anyway, since I like some video games too. It was more than worth it. What I got, apart from the hilarious cameos (Kano's Heart Rip Fatality in a Disney movie?! HOLY SHIT!) but actually pretty well thought out and rounded characters (except for some minor characters like the Nicelanders who were programmed to be two-dimensional in-universe anyways so it's sorta justified), and a good plot, and the very memorable Bad Guy affirmation. Not to mention a heartwarming ending and a memorable and successful villain, too!
A nice film that deserves to be seen, if only once
Wreck-It Ralph is something I've been dreaming about ever since I started playing videogames: A good movie that involves videogame characters. While it doesn't show characters I love like Sonic or Pac Man for too long, I still came out of the theater with a feeling of satisfaction. The plot revolves about the eponymous Wreck-It Ralph, the bad guy of a videogame called Fix-It Felix Jr. The thing is, Ralph doesn't want to be a bad guy. He believes that he would enjoy life a lot more if he was a hero too. So he sets off on a quest to become the good guy. People compare the film to other great classics like Toy Story, and the comparison is valid. Both films are about inanimate things that come to life when they're alone. But I think the messages are radically different: Toy Story is about being loyal to your friends and to not be envious of someone around you, but Wreck-It Ralph is about feeling good about yourself and finding your place in life, which I think is the best message you can give to a kid. I was expecting to find a lot of familiar faces during the film, but the great characters more than make up for the small amount of cameos. Everybody is likeable (well, maybe with the exception of Vanellope, she might be annoying for some people) and the film is constantly throwing videogame jokes and references at the viewer. Also the climax is very entertaining and the plot twists were pretty unexpected for me.
Wrecks your heart from the start until the end.
I'm speaking more as a film student than an animation fangirl/gamer. I LOVE animation, I grew up watching Disney, Pixar, and cartoons. I also love games (though I'm not as big about it as other people, but I will play video games), so naturally, I felt this movie would appeal to me. My brothers and I were excited to see this film when we first read about it on Wikipedia, but I was skeptical due to Disney having issues with its story-telling/choice of medium (3-D animation) at the time. After seeing the official trailer, I tried to stay away from everything else about the movie as much as I could so I could go in with a clean slate. It worked, I enjoyed every little minute of it like I did with Toy Story 3. Like I thought, Wreck-It Ralph appealed to me in a way that touched my heart. For one thing, I didn't hear any particular actor/actress in this film. I heard characters, and they were really good characters. The story may sound on paper predictable, plain, unoriginal, or whatever you want to call it, but it was handled beautifully alongside character development. I fell in love from the moment the first line of dialogue was spoken. From the get-go, the emotional rollercoaster was set in motion, and already we were in for a wild ride. Wreck-It Ralph has to be one of the best movies I've seen when it comes to character development, and emotions (which you have to give the animators a round of applause for making sure the emotions from the script popped). You really feel the pain these characters go through. You know what's in their hearts, and when their hearts break, so does yours. You cheer for them, and want them to win no matter what the cost. There is literally a soul to this movie, and it wants to tell us its story. I laughed. I cried. I was terrified. I was in awe. And I love it all. It was the best movie experience I've had since Toy Story 3 or How To Train Your Dragon, and I would love to experience again for the nostalgia. Can't speak for you, the reader, so go take a look, and decide for yourself what Wreck-It Ralph has done for... to you.
Made Me Cry... Seriously!
I miss being little because when you're a kid watching a movie everything is new and surprising. This movie reminded me of what it was like to be a little kid watching a movie. The video game worlds are AMAZING (not just in the animation aspect but in the "I want to go to this world" feel,) the characters (especially Felix and Vanellope, who I thought would be annoying) turned out to be hilarious and relate-able. The moral of "you can be anything you want to be" was finally dealt with in a way kids would understand -no, you CAN'T literally be anything you wantbecause there are natural limitations and everyone is stuck with a few options, but that's not a bad thing, it's just life. But here's why this movie made me cry: One of the characters has a secret that came as such a shock to me that it actually scared me. SCARED me. This is the first time in years that a movie managed to do something so unpredictable that it made me worry about the others. The villain's character design and truly evil and heartless motives made me go from a cynical teenager to a clueless worried three year old. At the end of the movie, I realized the lesson I learned: I didn't know everything about movie twists -I wasn't "too smart" for children's movies. I cried because of how beautiful that was, and how much I'm still looking forward to finding another movie that could do this to me again. And just to give you some perspective -I NEVER cry during movies unless something really sad happens (such as Victor's dog's death in Halloweenie.) Five out of five stars would watch again and I want the DVD for it! :D
This movie is like Roger Rabbit for video games. Except not a mystery and not 2D
Just saw Wreck-It-Ralph today and I brought my Mario hat with me which I completely forgot about while watching this film. Let me point out the obvious good points and stuff. The animation is pretty, it’s funny, and the cameos are accurate and not American Kirby Is Hardcore, Captain N style. I still wonder how they managed to get Kano to do his heart rip fatality on screen without anyone noticing and also there are more cameos than the trailers shown. I like the fact that even though it’s a movie about video games it’s still accessible to people who don’t play them. Even though its 2012 and there are electronic games everywhere and “casual games” on Facebook that even your mom and aunt play. Gamers will smile when they see references like the Pac-Man kill screen. I also like the fact that while Ralph wants to be a good guy he still messes things up and Felix who is a bit naive he doesn’t realize that Ralph might not enjoy his job. The only kind of bad thing I can say about it is that it did not use all of the potential video game “things”. Because when the fictional game was released in the 80’s, there were more genres like puzzle games and RP Gs and the NES was released. And today we have rhythm games, casual games like farmville and MM Os started to exist. But it still works as a character-driven story. Is it the nerdiest film that Disney ever made? Yes. Is it pandering to an audience? No because pandering is not a good thing and you wouldn’t be able to entertain kids who are young enough not to be able to use a microwave. Even if you don’t get the joke you can still laugh at the other jokes and be able to enjoy the characters. Wreck-It-Ralph is a good film for the family and a great film for gamers.
Game Nerd: Not a requirement
I was rather expecting this movie to be the sort of movie that is made so game nerds can enjoy all the shout outs and it's more made specifically for the gaming crowd. Note that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, I was actually kinda looking forward to it for this reason. This was not the case. Now, that isn't to say that the in-jokes aren't there. It's just that the movie doesn't overuse them or rely on them. Any gamer will enjoy the movie if only to see the shout-outs and characters all together like never before. But that isn't its main point, the main point is the characters and the story. And surprisingly enough, this is done extremely well. The characters are all enjoyable, especially the two main ones of Vanellope and Ralph. All of them have their own distinct personalities and each is enjoyable in their own way. The relationships that develop between the two main duos is very enjoyable. Ralph and Vanellope's little combination of big brother and father figure relationship is delightful. The writing is some of the strongest writing I've ever seen. The plot lends itself very well to the setting and is delightfully intriguing. The background of these worlds that they include is very enjoyable and makes sense. The jokes are also a welcome bonus. It balances all the in-jokes about games that we want with some real clever one liners and funny situations. The way that everything starts to reveal itself in the end and the way that it almost perfectly treads the line of too little/too much foreshadowing is very cool. All in all, go see this movie. I don't care if you're a gamer or not, you will enjoy this film. I give it 9.5 out of 10 stars.
Wrecks all Negative Expectations
I was initially a little wary of this movie when it was announced, given that most video game-associated movies... well, they tend to be ad-pushers and little else. Granted, after some of the promo material, I was a little more interested. I finally had a chance to watch this, and it was better than expected. Much, much better than expected. It's a love letter to the conceits of Classic Arcade gaming in ways that Scott Pilgrim didn't quite grasp, pairing a convincing story about a man stuck in a not-too-popular role trying to improve his lot in life with a veritable museum of gaming goodness that rivals any Namco Museum Collection. 5/5 would buy the DVD once it arrives.
I went into the movie expecting to like it, but when all is said and done I liked it a lot more than I expected. I kid you not when I tell you I almost went back to a second showing the same day I saw it! The characters were good, the story was nice, and the animation was just lovely. If I needed another reason to love this already great movie is it really made me confident in Disney again. I'll be honest, it took a four movie streak of excellence for me to feel like it wasn't just a flub Disney made good movies again.
Mostly standard Disney story, with a creative concept behind it
Much like Toy Story, the characters in Wreck-It Ralph are entirely aware that they are created for the entertainment of others, and being video game characters, they have roles to play. "Quarter alert! Get into your start positions!" This leads to a lot of imaginative scenes such as the characters being forcibly moved by the player using the joystick, or glimpses of what players would be seeing on the screen if they were there to witness the characters crossing over into each other's games, or living their personal lives. One particularly creative idea deconstructs the modern, scripting-filled First Person Shooter in Hero's Duty. The player is represented by a screen with hands that carries a gun, serving as the player's point-of-view in the game world, and all the other heroes merely act out their scripted dialog and behaviors for the benefit of "immersing" the player. I had always been critical of first person shooters being overly scripted, and it was nice to see that concept parodied. And I also liked the over-the-top "tragic backstory" of a certain character, which seems to parody action games that take themselves too seriously. The three main games themselves are all original creations that are not themed after one particular game, or even a blend of two, but rather, a mishmash of general ideas. Fix-It Felix Jr. contains elements of Hammerin' Harry, Donkey Kong and Rampage. Hero's Duty takes elements from Time Crisis, Call of Duty, Halo, Metroid and the movie/book Starship Troopers. And Sugar Rush is an anime-esque Mario Kart-esque game with a Level Ate theme and J-pop theme song. The main building blocks of the movie, though, are standard Disney. Standard Disney morals, standard Disney plot twists, standard Disney character types. They're used to do creative things, but so many of the non-game-related jokes, and so much of the plot, all felt very familiar to me. It isn't bad, but it's not as original as I would have hoped. The originality came from the movie's usage of its video game theme. However, the plot can still be followed even if one knows nothing about video games. This is one of Disney's most original concepts, but not their most original execution. Still, it's enjoyable and memorable.
A Movie for Gamers and Non-Gamers of All Ages
Honestly, what really makes this movie so great is that it manages to reach out beyond the gamers. There were fears that the video game cameos would override the main story, but the main story is so good and so Disney that even without the cameos, it would've been great. It's a movie that can be viewed by gamers and non-gamers of all ages, though obviously the former can appreciate it more. The story, as was shown in the trailers, has Ralph trying to overcome his label of being a bad guy because he's being treated like crap by nearly everybody. So he goes game hopping (Which, as the movie progresses, is a VERY bad idea) in an attempt to get the recognition he deserves. One thing leads to another and eventually Ralph has to fix a problem he may have started. The characters are all great and really shine through. Ralph is really a nice guy, and he just wants to be loved. Felix is a goody good and a bit naive, but he will stand buy Ralph through thick and thin. Vanellope is freaking hilarious, and she alongside Ralph provides a lot of the non-gamer humor of the movie, and her character is actually pretty complex for reasons you will see as you watch. And Calhoun is your typical no-nonsense action female that also gets some funny moments, particularly alongside Felix. The story...man, the story. This world they built around the VG characters coming to life was really well thought out. All the machines in the game are linked through the wires and a power strip. The story itself is a great story to follow, and there are parts that, in typical Disney fashion, are heartwarming and sad. Out of 5, I'd rate it 5. Just a nice wholesome movie all around that can be enjoyed by gamers who want to see the games and gaming aspects, and the non-gamers who want a good story. This is a shining example of a Disney movie that doesn't rely on fairy tales, children's literary icons, princesses, and musical numbers.
I liked this movie.
Unfortunately, I was expecting to love it. The characters are great, the idea behind it incredible, the logistics mind-boggling, the nods to the setting fun, and it was a great romp. I guess part of the problem was that the trailers were just that much better. The music they use for them was so touching and great, and I felt it represented the scenes better than what was used. Also, I felt the pacing was a bit rushed. I know they had to get a lot done, but I felt at points, especially near the beginning, they were going a bit too fast for my tastes. Overall, a great movie, recommend it. 4/5.