Review: Wreck-It-Ralph ★★★★☆


This Disney animation feels like a cross between a Pixar movie and a DreamWorks effort. It has a big, warm feel to it (the Pixar side) with occasional moments of weak and unnecessary humour (the DreamWorks side). It actually isn’t made by either company, though Pixar-God John Lasseter is credited as an executive producer. It’s far from perfect, but still immensely enjoyable and wonderful to look at.

John C. Reilly does a fantastic job voicing Ralph, an arcade video-game ‘bad guy’ who is tired of always being the bad guy. He wants to win a medal like the video-game heroes. But his attempts to achieve similar glory (by sneaking into a different video game) cause catastrophic consequences for a cute racing-car game, Sugar Rush, meant for very young children.

Sarah Silverman adds an effective comic touch as a car racing girl who has a glitch in her programming, though some of the jokes she has to spout are a bit naff. The real highlight of the movie is Jane Lynch (pictured above) as a monster-destroying soldier. He smooth and hilarious delivery style is put to good use.

Mature audiences will appreciate the nods to Ridley Scott’s Alien, and James Cameron’s sequel, as well as spotting cameos of their favourite video game characters. This isn’t to say that those who didn’t spend their early years playing video games won’t enjoy the spectacle. I don’t think I’ve ever played an arcade game, but I still appreciated the intelligent construction of a world based around that form of entertainment.

The press screening I attended presented the film in 3D, and like most pictures shown in this format, I didn’t really feel it added anything to the movie (as most people will know by now, 3D actually takes a way something of the movie: light – lots of it – so you’re forced to watch a rather dim screen compared to 2D). In the press conference after the screening I asked director Rich Moore about his thoughts on the format, and he replied that although he was initially sceptical about 3D, he feels three dimensional viewings provide the definitive way to watch this film. So whatever your thoughts are on this (now dying) trend in modern cinema, you can make your own mind up when you come to pay for your tickets. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the extra price.

Though the plotting starts to get very untidy towards the end, this is a sweet, good-natured and pleasing piece of escapism. I’d be surprised if it’s regarded as a classic in fifty years time, but for now it does very nicely as a fun night out at the cinema.

Wreck-It-Ralph (2012), directed by Rich Moore, is distributed in the UK by Walt Disney Studios, Certificate PG. 


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Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.

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