Wreck-It Ralph opened in theaters this weekend
It’s rare that I do a movie review out here on my blog, but when I do, it’s a movie that I really enjoyed.
Wreck-It Ralph is that movie. It’s a lot geek, part heart-felt story, some suspense, adding a plot twist and filled with all sorts of geek and retro video game that anyone who lived in the 80’s and spent time in the arcades is going to be happy to see on the big screen.
The Bad (Guy)
Wreck-It Ralph is a character in a video game called Fix-It Felix Jr., created in 1982. The game itself is a mixture of a couple of classic arcade video games: a general feel of game play from the 1986 game Rampage and a console-style similar to the original Donkey Kong. Ralph gets tired of being the bad guy in the game, so he makes plans to change that. He attends a social group with other bad guys like Bowser from Super Mario [the license to include Mario was more than Disney wanted to spend] and Clyde from Pac-man, and makes his quest to be a good guy known.
What happens in this quest as it plays out throughout the movie involves all sorts of retro, current and new video game characters helping Ralph along the way, as he moves between games. There’s a Tron-like feel to how the characters move between games, which works so well that you almost wished it were possible in the 80’s.
The Good (Parts)
There are so many moments in how the story flows in this film that you want to savor and remember, but the images and characters appear on the screen so often and with so many in a single screen, like in the Game Central Station [which is in likeness to Grand Central Station] where you will have to see the movie several times to catch all of the video game character cameos, like Dig Dug, one of my all-time favorite video games that I spent many hours and quarters playing.
Dig Dug’s brief appearance in “Wreck-It Ralph”
The CGI and animation is tops and it’s rarely lacking, like in some parts of the scenes from the game Sugar Rush. But for the most part, the designers of this movie got it right with vivid images from each game, switching from 8-bit to modern animation with fluid brilliance.
The voice actors give a standout performance. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman trade barbs with ease and humor as Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz. Jack McBrayer plays the voice of Fix-It Felix and excels at expanding past his role as a page on the TV sitcom “30 Rock”. Adam Carolla and Horatio Sanz play Wynnchel and Duncan, donuts-acting-as-cops in the vast reaches of the Sugar Rush game landscape. Humor dominates a lot of the character interaction and is an integral part of the script, with most of it crossing the age barrier quite nicely. With some exceptions like a Diet Coke and Mentos experiment, most viewers should be able to follow everything that’s going on without getting lost.
Wynnchel and Duncan from “Wreck-It Ralph”
And in the last of the staring roles, Jane Lynch plays Sergeant Calhoun from the movie’s created video game Hero’s Duty. Already a well known name in acting, her voice role here is spot on and works well for a Halo-like battle commander. She rides the role of a hard-edge military leader and bleeding some charm to Fix-It Felix in their quest to get Ralph back to his game.
I really enjoyed this movie – a lot. It was one that had charm, character, lots of geeking out with all of the video game character appearances and the detail in the flow of the story and animated scenery. This movie is for all ages, even though it’s rated PG (for some minor appearance of characters drinking and even more minor potty humor). No swear words or any scenes that I would deem as inappropriate for anyone ages 8 and above. It’s an instant Disney hit and the ushering in of a whole new generation of animated classics.
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