It would be a tough job for Disney’s Pixar to make a film anywhere near as good as Up or Wall*E and while Wreck-It Ralph isn’t anywhere near as good as those, it certainly beats the heck out of most animations these days.
Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy from a long since passed its sell-by-date video game Fix-It Felix, Jr. He, along with all of the other video game characters inside Litwak’s Arcade, leave their daytime roles at night and travel around the digital world, free to roam other games – all joined together by Games Central Station which seems to be the insides of a multi adaptor plug.
The trailers show Ralph in a counselling session for ‘bad-guys’ (others include Pac-Man’s ghost, Zangeif from Street Fighter, Kano from Mortal Kombat, Bowser and Dr. Eggman from Sonic) and it’s here he shares the fact that he feels downtrodden and neglected and would much rather be a hero than a bad guy, and so off on his journey of self-discovery he goes.
Ralph (voiced by John C. Reily) meets a number of characters along the way including a little girl, immaculately voice by once of my favourite comedians, a cute yet very sardonic Sarah Silverman, and Calhoun, the lead character from a first person shooter called Hero’s Duty, voiced by Glee’s Jane Lynch.
As Ralph roams from world to world, we are met by a series of stunning back drops, the best of which is a Candyland from the video game Sugar Rush, which looks like a mix of Robocod and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
They also meet the not-to-be trusted King Candy, who comes across like the Wizard of Oz and in fact that is where a lot of the films references points lay, along with a reference to Alien.
It’s great to see all of the nods to famous games of the past, especially Q*bert and there is even a famous dubstep DJ squeeze into one nightclub scene. The fight scene is a little too busy for the sake of it and sometimes I actually thought that Ralph was played by Seth Rogan; even Ralph looked a little like him. All in all it is a pretty enjoyable film with a cutesy moral about self-acceptance.
I went for an early showing of the film which just so happen to be 3D. I’m not a fan of 3D, the majority of films do not benefit from it and it is just a gimmick to make money. In all 3D films, the effects dulls the colour and that cannot be a good thing, especially in a Pixar film when colour is everything. Here the 3D does just that and other than the fight or race sequences, there is not much 3D there. Go see the much brighter vivid 2D version and save a quid!
And as always with a Pixar film, accompanying it is a short film, this time an absolutely stunning silent black and white animation called Paper Man which deserved five stars in itself. A nostalgic film about love at first sight and paper planes. It felt like Wall*E and was lovely. Go see!!!
WRECK-IT RALPH (PG)
Dir: Rich Moore. 108 mins
Starring John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch