Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph

In Theatres: 
Nov 02, 2012

Videogames always love to tell the story of the hero who rescues the princess from the castle or defeats the evil warlord but many times we forget about the characters our heroes defeat in order to save the day. Are they truly villains or simply misunderstood? Wreck-It Ralph follows one such bad guy, Ralph (John C. Reilly), who is tired of wrecking everything and just wants to be loved and appreciated like his hero counterpart, Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer). In an effort to earn his own medal and become a hero, he causes chaos all across the arcade and puts every cabinet in jeopardy of being unplugged.

The film takes place in an arcade where all the games are living, functional worlds whose characters interact in a subway station that connects them all together. During the day, they act exactly how their corresponding games play but at night when the arcade is closed they’re free to do as they please. Ralph goes AWOL (TURBO in the game world) and ventures outside of his game to find his own hero medal. In an effort to clear his name of his bad guy status, he’ll travel to the first person shooter Hero’s Duty and the extreme cart racer Sugar Rush.

If you couldn’t already tell by the trailers, Wreck-It Ralph is an homage to classic videogames such as Super Mario Bros., Sonic, Q*bert, and Street Fighter. The first half of the film is jam packed with videogame references and cameo appearances from classic arcade games and current console titles. It’s clear that everyone involved in the production of the film knows their video game history. Even little subtleties, such as the graffiti in the background, are rifled with gaming nostalgia. It’s nearly impossible to catch everything the first go around, so repeat viewing are a must, which isn’t a bad thing.

The “spot the videogame reference” drastically slows down when Ralph reaches Sugar Rush and befriends Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), a young glitch in the game who hopes to one day become a racer. Sugar Rush is exactly as it sounds; an oversaturated blend of candy and bright colors that attacks the senses to no end. You’ll get cavities from just looking at the screen.

Sugar Rush is where the story really starts to develop its characters, especially Ralph. There’s plenty of humor and witty dialogue that will keep the kids entertained and happy. While I’m not sure how many of them will get all the videogame references, parents are sure to get a laugh from them. Videogame nostalgia aside, Wreck-It Ralph still stands as a great film.

Wreck-It Ralph may just be the best videogame movie made with its abundance of gaming lore and charming story. The colorful visuals and detailed animations draw you into its videogame world and make you never want to leave. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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Paul Arca's picture

Being a HUGE video game fan, I loved this movie. The whole concept and nostalgia of seeing the various video game characters was more than enough to make this one of the top animated movies of the year for me.