Ralph Breaks the Internet - 2018
Director(s): Phil Johnston and Rich Moore
Writer(s): Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon (screenplay) / Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Pamela Ribon, Josie Trinidad, and Kelly Younger (story)
Cinematography by: Nathan Warner
Editor(s): Jeremy Milton and Fabienne Rawley
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk and Bill Hader
Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to 2012's Wreck-It-Ralph, and if the apparent miss in the title of the movie stands-out to you, this movie will be as long as it was for me. When I saw the trailer for this movie, something did not sit right with me, so I waited till the core audience saw it, so this grown "man" could sat with his wife in an empty theater to watch a kid's movie. Without kids. Walking-out I cannot help to be extremely cynical as to Disney's end goal, and a bit disturbed by the delivery of the message.
The story picks up six years later after the original, Ralph and Vanellope are comfortable in their routine inside the arcade. However, Vanellope starts to desire more excitement and challenge in her daily life. When the internet is introduced to the arcade, a world of possibilities is opened, creating friction between Vanellope and Ralph as he is happy with his arcade life. The story takes a hot minute to start, I was a bit bored in the beginning, once the ball got rolling I was entertained in the middle and was completely detached by the end. The structure of the movie and the flow of the story just didn’t grab me, and the repetitive nature of the conflict doesn’t help either.
The core talents return; director Rich Moore, with John C. Reilly back as Ralph, and Sarah Silverman as Vanellope, the unlikely duo that saved the day, and they bring along some new voices in Gal Gadot and Bill Hader. The voice acting is good, I did find the Silverman voice a bit squeakier than in the original, leading to a few ear grating moments, and the repetitive lines from Reilly made his performance a bit stagnant, something that is the script's fault. My favorite was Bill Hader, as he is always a stand-out of any project he touches.
As for the story, I understand their message, I do, and it is a message worth exploring. I don't know if these are the characters for that message. The central message, among a few other things, is how friends grow apart even when they are together. Goals and aspirations may start the same, but as we mature, life takes us in different paths: great message, and one that many need to learn. The problem is that Ralph a man is the main character, “video game” man but still a man, and Vanellope is a little girl and he is wholly obsessed with her and keeping her close to him at all costs. To the point that he sabotages her dreams and manipulates her into staying with him, and I couldn't get over that hump or suspended my disbelief and enjoy the movie. It felt creepy and add that to the fact that he keeps calling her "kid" throughout the whole ordeal. Look, it could be completely a "me thing," but I was turned off by the execution. Also, the climax scene, where his obsession, clinginess, and creepiness are on full display was a lot, and it quickly stopped being a kid's movie.
Now, the second reason I was turned off by this movie; how it is unashamed to be a commercial for all Disney products. It felt like an executive was screaming the word synergy over and over in a meeting till the writers threw the script in his face. You get to see all the things you "love" and then some, but this time it is in Ralph's animation, so it is different. You like Star Wars? Yes? Well we have it. How about Marvel!? You KNOW IT! Princesses? BOOM! You know all the new merchandise they can squeeze out of this bloated commercial will be worth triple their investment. I would have let this go... I mean I would have let this slide if it was a brief cameo of their IPs or a few of their IPs. But it was ALL of them, and in the end, a select few play a significant role in the climax. It felt forced, contrived, and a clear-cut business decision.
Ralph Breaks the Internet should have been “Wrecks the Internet” but what do I know, is an “ok” kid’s movie to a certain extent. If you can overlook the things mentioned above, the animation is excellent, the voice acting is good, and some funny sequences will provide entertainment for the entire family. It was just creepy and inconsistent for me, and I can see a version of this movie being a three to five-minute Super Bowl Commercial, but by releasing this in the theaters they get more bang for their buck. I know movies are a business, and this statement may seem snobby, but the business should come after the art, not replace it. Bill Hader is why I love movies.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is currently playing in theaters. You probably already saw it.
If you like this review let me know in the comment section down below. Subscribe to my newsletter so you are always up to date with all my reviews. Also, follow me over at Twitter (@yILovemovies) or over on Facebook if you want to have a conversation about movies.