In 2012, Disney released Wreck-It Ralph, an animated movie about a video game bad guy who wants to be more than just that and I loved it. It was well-animated, it has a great voice cast, and there was a lot creativity put into the idea. And it’s among one of my favorite films from Disney. Six years later, a sequel was released, originally having a ridiculously long title that thankfully was cut short. With this sequel, the possibilities are endless. So did we get another hit or is it something to be thrown in the Recycle Bin? Well, let’s find out. This is Ralph Breaks The Internet.
Six years after the first film, Ralph and Vanellope have become good friends, hanging out after working in their respective games. When the steering wheel in Vanellope’s game breaks, resulting in it being unplugged, she and Ralph decide to go on the Internet in order to find a spare wheel to fix it. Meanwhile, they explore the world of the net and find themselves in various hijinks. From the look and premise, this seems like Disney doing their own version of The Emoji Movie and nobody wants another Emoji Movie. Thankfully, this is better than The Emoji Movie, which shouldn’t be surprising. Still, I wouldn’t say that the story here is as strong as the original Wreck-It Ralph. It was great seeing these characters interact in the video game world with famous characters from the medium in the background. Here, the video game aspect takes a backseat to the world of the internet, which you can do a great story with, especially around online gaming, but it doesn’t really hit the same mark as the first film. Not bad, but it could have been better.
John C. Reilly and Sara Silverman returns as Ralph and Vanellope respectively. Their friendship remains the strongest part of the film, building off of the first film. Although I do have a problem with the way Ralph acts in this movie. He has good intentions, but his misguided, often selfish ways are the driving force behind everything that happens in the movie. When Vanellope feels bored about the predictability of her game Sugar Rush, Ralph opts to create a new track in order to splice things up, which ends up messing up the game and causing them to go on the Internet. There, they come across an online game called Slaughter Race, occupied by Shank. Speaking of, Gal Gadot was alright as Shank, but Wonder Woman still remains her best role. I thought she was going to be a twist villain. Either her or Yesss (played by Taraji P. Henson), an algorithm for a YouTube parody called BuzzzTube. At the final third of the film, he unleashes a virus that ends up fucking up the entire Internet because he’s afraid Vanellope would rather stay in Slaughter Race than in Sugar Rush. Our “hero,” ladies and gentlemen. Characters from the first film like Fix-It Felix, Sgt. Calhoun, and others make an appearance, but they’re not in the movie much.
If you’re somebody who’s annoyed by product placement, then this movie will annoy you because there is a LOT of product placement here. Most of the popular websites you can think of, they’re here: Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc. So many references are thrown at you that it will require than one viewing in order to catch them all. There’s even a scene involving the Disney website where it’s clear that Disney are just showing off all of the properties that they own, a bit of ego-stroking on their side. And there’s the Disney princesses. The marketing team has been milking the appearances of these icons before the film’s release and they show up in two scenes: the “are you a real princess scene” involving them and Vanellope which has been in most of the trailers and a scene in the final act where they save Ralph in the most hilarious and cool way possible.
I give Ralph Breaks The Internet a 7/10. It’s well-animated, the characters are mostly likable in spite of certain choices, and the story, while not perfect, was a decent one. I did enjoy this movie and there are things to admire about it, but I wish I liked it more. I don’t know. I feel like when you make a movie like this surrounding the Internet, it’s going to be a bit dated. Still, it’s a good enough movie for families, but I doubt I’ll come back to this one as much as I would Wreck-It Ralph.