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08 Feb 2013
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Ralph is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, the good guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.
On his quest, Wreck-It Ralph meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun from the first-person action game Hero's Duty. But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realise his dream and save the day before it's too late?
John C. Reilly
Brandon T. Jackson
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Movies.ie Critic Review
Wreck-It Ralph (USA/G/107mins)
Directed by: Rich Moore. Starring: John C.Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Alan Tudyk, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer
THE PLOT: Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a video game bad guy. After 30 years in the same arcade game, he is upset at being shunned and thought of as a bad guy; that’s only his job. After a party is thrown in honour of Fix-It Felix – the game’s good guy – and he is not invited, Ralph leaves his game and goes on a voyage of self-discovery, wrecking and fixing things along the way.
THE VERDICT: As the voice of Ralph, John C. Reilly merges despair and hopefulness in his performance to make Ralph feel well rounded, and his motivations relatable. Sarah Silverman’s trademark semi-annoying voice works well for her character, Venellope, and she quickly becomes one of the sweetest characters in the film. The relationship between Ralph and Venellope is definitely that of the odd couple, but it is endearing and warm.
Jack McBrayer is the voice of do-gooder Felix, which makes sense, Jane Lynch steps in as the military leader of the game Hero’s Duty (which also makes sense), Alan Tudyk channels the Mad Hatter as the Candy King and Mindy Kaling turns up as the wonderfully named Taffyta Muttonfudge. Each gives a wonderful voice performance that adds warmth to this CGI world.
Disney have definitely taken a leaf from early Pixar’s book with the attention to detail in this film. The background of the film is almost as interesting as the main story, and the puns are clever and rather cute. As well as this, it is not essential to have a knowledge of gaming before going to see the film, those who have a working knowledge and can differentiate between Pac Man and Q*Bert will do fine as the main action takes place in fictional games, albeit those inspired by actual games.
The story of Wreck-it Ralph is typical Disney – believe in yourself etc etc – but this is what makes the film work so well. As Ralph discovers that he is perfect as he is, the audience finds themselves rooting for this ‘bad guy’. The use of video games within this story adds a layer of quirkiness and nostalgia, as well as feeling a little like an animated, less scary version of Tron… With candy cars instead of lightcycles.
Director Rich Moore created some of the best, funniest and most heart-warming episodes of Futurama, and he has done the same with Wreck-It Ralph. The familiar story line is given new energy through careful direction and the script by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee. The best jokes are visual and the almost throw away one liners will keep the audience giggling throughout the film.
In all, Wreck-It Ralph is a familiar story given a quirky, warm and incredibly entertaining twist. Reilly and Silverman shine and, since the film only explores a handful of games, the stage is set for many many sequels. An idea that is incredibly appealing.
Review by Brogen Hayes
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