Wreck-It Ralph review

Rich Moore
John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman
Jack McBrayer
Jane Lynch
Rated: PG

This movie is worth getting some quarters together for.

“Wreck-It Ralph” follows the story of the title character (Reilly), a video game villain in an arcade game where his job is to destroy a tall building and it is up to the game’s hero, Fix it Felix (McBrayer) to repair the building and knock Ralph off the top of the building. The game, and all the inhabitants in it are now 30-years-old and Ralph is fed up with the life of the villain. Because of this, he decides to leave his game and go to another one, Hero’s Duty to get a medal which will change his life and make him a hero.

The plan goes badly in Hero’s Duty though and Ralph ends up in the racing game Sugar Rush. There he meets Vanellope (Silverman), who, after a rough first meeting, the two end up working together to achieve their goals of being better recognized by other characters in their respective games. Meanwhile though, Ralph made a huge mistake in Hero’s Duty and the main character of that game Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch) has to work with Fix it Felix to get Ralph back to his game as well as stop a threat to the whole video game world.

The premise for “Wreck-It Ralph” is really creative. It sort of brought me back to the world of “Monster’s Inc.,” yet this is no rip off, the film has a lot of its own imagination. The story is enjoyable and has a lot going on with it, especially in the second act and the third act had a plot twist which I didn’t see coming and really worked.

What was really nice was the dual plot threads in the movie, one follows Ralph and Vanellope trying to get more respect and working together, the other follows Calhoun and Felix who eventually begin to have a romantic interest with each other. The two plot lines help the movie move along well and keep things from getting boring.

I enjoyed the characters in the film, and their respective actors and actresses too. The interactions are believable and nothing really feels phoned in. The characters Ralph and Venellope are both good and have some funny lines however surprisingly Felix and Calhoun steal the show; in fact I wouldn’t mind seeing a spin off with these two characters. There were a lot of side characters too, many taken from actual games that made it even better, for example Sonic and Bowser.

Speaking of video game references, there are a ton here. The animators did a great job of shoving as many visual reference gags in as possible and it made for some really funny moments. The animation looked good too, with everything being very vibrant and colorful. Each game had their own style to which really worked since that’s how video games are.

Overall Wreck-It Ralph works on a lot of levels. The characters are strong and the visuals are really enjoyable. The many shout-outs to other video games are very much welcomed. I wouldn’t put it on par with some of the other great animated films over the last few years but it is close. Very high 3 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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