Movie Reviews

Ralph Breaks the Internet – Friendship in the Internet Age

Ralph Breaks The Internet or Wreck-It Ralph 2 for short.

Synopsis: In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” video-game bad guy Ralph and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss, the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank, a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had. (Disney)

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and Gal Gadot

Writers: Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon

Directors:  Phil Johnston and Rich Moore

Rating: PG (United States)

Running Time:  114mins

Trailer: 

The original Wreck-It Ralph was ahead of its time by creating a compelling video game universe. This sequel hopes to do the same with something else that is very close to most people being the internet. The original pretty much did all they can do with the world of arcade video games so this film obviously shifted its focus to the elaborate world behind the internet. The Emoji Movie‘s tone-deaf depiction of the internet was insulting to say the least, however this time around, this depiction of the internet was a lot more endearing.

Six years after the events of the original, the story here saw best friends Ralph (Reilly) and Vanellope (Silverman) look to the mysterious new internet in order to save Sugar Rush from being unplugged. Their journey would test both of them individually and their friendship in a very compelling way. For years, Ralph and Vanellope were seemingly inseparable but now were heading in different directions as each saw were they were with their own lives and where they were going differently.

Seeing the internet for the first time, of course Ralph and Vanellope were in awe. The internet was a vast and limitless universe of possibility for which they were only a small part of. They would stumble across the inner workings of the internet, wreaking plenty of havoc along the way. They were fun and often hilarious to watch as they always seemed to be getting themselves in trouble and the they would have to figure a way out. The film’s many references to the inner workings of the internet were both imaginative and freakishly accurate, good and bad. However, the references didn’t end there as Disney can fortunately pull from their countless properties so expect many of them popping up throughout. None were bigger than the Disney princesses and their meta, self-deprecating humor who were without a doubt the highlight of the film.

Despite the many references and the spectacle of it all, the film at its core was about the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope. The promise of the internet would prove to be alluring and further drive them apart. The film was a rollercoaster as things got very emotional very fast. In order for their friendship to survive, it had to evolve and that meant dealing with some deep-seeded feelings that may put it in real jeopardy (some tears may or not have been shed in the process). This doesn’t necessarily mean that the film doesn’t have a happy ending as it does leave the door open to additional films if need be but to be honest, the series would be better served leaving it here.

The level of animation here arguably wasn’t the best but it is still an improvement over the original albeit not as inventive as the original. The world it creates here was even more vast and detailed than the original. It’s brighter, it’s more colorful, and there were plenty more characters this time around. For the most part, they weren’t in a video game anymore, however, the world here was far more interesting and only scratched the surface. The voice acting was yet again the best part of the film with Reilly and Silverman bringing it once again as Ralph and Venellope. Gadot as Shank, a character from a racing game, and Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, an algorithm of a YouTube type site, were welcome additions.

Overall, this was an amazing animated film and a hilarious and emotional journey that will surely put a smile on your face from beginning to end. Despite all the references and the spectacle of it all, the film at its core was a powerful story about friendship. They Disney princesses were definitely a highlight and it’s fun to see a film that didn’t take itself too seriously. Ralph Breaks The Internet is the best animated film of 2018 and also one of the best films of 2018 so far.

Score: 10/10

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