Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Review: "Ralph Breaks the Internet" doesn't necessarily break the first film, but its still good

Ralph Breaks The Internet Review
"Wreck-It Ralph" was a fun little awesome movie. Its no surprise it rang so true to many people. It was a clever take on video game culture and the tropes that have materialized from it, and that's saying something coming from Disney Studios. There were some fun parodies of classic video game characters. All of this was swept into an engaging story for people of all ages told with characters that stole hearts. Sure, the movie just boiled down to a typical Disney "Be a good person and eat your vegetables" fable, but the fun and characters ultimately won me over. They seemed like they won over tons of people. Plus, the left and right slugs to the video game world was fun to see too.

So of course we get a sequel, and while its six years later, its clear that there is still gas left in this tank. The film has been doing well at the box office so far. But money has never been an issue with me, I don't care how much money a movie makes. All I care about is how good a movie is. good is "Ralph Breaks the Internet?" Overall, its pretty good. I don't know if I would call it a better movie than the first, but "Wreck-It Ralph" almost felt one-of-a-kind. I would have loved another movie dealing with video game culture, but perhaps they told all the story they could with that venture. And the only other option was to tell the story they present here.

The movie picks up in real time. Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) are still the best of buds. They love playing in their designated video games. But Vanellope in particular is getting tired of the same thing every day. These fictional games our main characters inhabit are supposedly old and these characters have seen everything. All hidden tracks, all hidden characters, there is no more maps to clear, no new territory to discover and no more Ermacs. Ralph wants to help his bored friend, so he is able to create a new race course in Vanellope's racing game. While Vanellope loved Ralph's efforts. Ralph accidentally breaks down Vanellope's game and the arcade owner shuts the game down. Leaving all of the characters from Vanellope's game "homeless." The arcade needs a certain amount of money to fix the game, money the arcade doesn't have. 

So Ralph does what we usually see in these Disney movies. He goes on an adventure to get the money. By trying to make money on the internet. Because we all know how hard and frustrating that can be. As much as the first film was a comment on video game culture, Disney does a great job commenting on the internet. Sometimes, surfing the net can feel like the digital wild west, that's exactly what the internet looks like in this movie. A big, loud, free-for-all and its all overwhelming to Ralph and Vanellope, just as it can be overwhelming to anyone whose never used it before. I really dug the look of the inside of the internet in this movie.

The voice work is top-notch here. Our favorite characters from the first film, voiced by Jane Lynch, Jack McBayer and more. Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Hensen give voice to two newest characters, Gadot voices a character from an online video game and Hensen gives voice to an algorithm of a YouTube parody, and they do wonderful work here. Fans of all things Disney will have a fun time with the characters and their voices. The scene in the trailers where Vanellope meets every single Disney Princess features voices from nearly all the original movies, even going back years. There is also a scene where Vin Diesel voices Baby Groot, and Stan Lee snuck in one last cameo. So there are little things that people will soak up and enjoy.

The thing is, this story is really no different from the first film. Ralph, whether he's trying to do good or do bad, ends up just breaking stuff. No matter how hard he tries, he ends up ruining good things for those he cares about. Then he learns his lesson and he has to repair the damages he created. Sure, he's not concerned about being a villain anymore. But now he's trying to be a good friend, and how that can consume someone under circumstances. The film resolves itself using the spine of the first film as a blueprint. 

The film is certainly very clever once again and I am sure many people of all ages will find something to enjoy here. But underneath it all, its just another sequel. Albeit an enjoyable one.


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