Movie Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Spoiler-Free)

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Movie Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Spoiler-Free)

Jordan Dickman, Writer, Editor

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    Ralph Breaks the Internet was released on November 21 and is the sequel to 2014’s Wreck-It Ralph, which follows a video game villain named Ralph as he tries to become a hero by helping Vanellope, a character from a different game in the arcade where Ralph lives. Wreck-it Ralph was a captivating movie and many people looked forward to seeing the sequel. So did the sequel live up to the hype or was it a disappointment?

    The plot of the movie is that the controller on Vanellope’s game breaks and Ralph and Vanellope must go to eBay to get a new one via a newly installed wifi router. They buy the controller, but Ralph accidentally bids a giant amount of money and only have 24 hours to pay it. Ralph tries different ways to raise the money, ranging from helping a poor click baiter to becoming a meme on the website BuzzzTube (The fictional competitor to Youtube).

    The story takes Ralph and Vanellope all throughout the internet, which is portrayed a sort of MMO/Emoji Movie/VR mashup, where people on a website in real life are created as avatars visiting a building (i.e. the Google skyscraper).  The internet takes over from the arcade as the setting for most of the film and the only two games important to the story are Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush and Tron, which is used as a Chekhov’s gun later on in the film. The top-notch animation really helps this interpretation of the internet come to life. The best parts of the film are scenes like Ralph visiting the run-down dark web to visit a clickbait trailer home, or those a GTA-like online game called Slaughter Race where all of the characters move just like players would move their characters in real life.

    There is also a scene in which Vanellope meets the Disney princess, who showcase their powers to a medley of their respective theme songs. The princesses are a very clever way for Disney to make fun of itself, such as referencing the popular hipster princesses meme and a joke where the princesses complain that they can’t understand Merida (from Brave) due to her being made by Pixar Studios. Disney also has this kind of humor in the two post-credits scenes which follow the movie. The only problem with the princess jokes is that sometimes they are taken a bit too seriously, which is a problem with many parts of the film.  

   The world building and animation in Ralph Breaks the Internet is top notch, but the film begins to fail when it comes to the characters. The two main characters, Ralph and Vanellope, are pretty much the same as how they were in the original film. A lot of the scenes with Ralph especially come off as a bit pathetic, such as him breaking down over some mean comments on one of his meme videos. The BuzzzTube algorithm Yesss is pretty generic, as is Slaughter Race hidden boss Shank and Search Bar librarian KnowsMore. The best character is probably pop-up add Spamley, the only helpful clickbait add in the world. The main villain looks like a cross between the Stay Puft man from Ghostbusters and King Kong, and is the predictable answer to the question, “How can we make our villain bring out the best in our hero?” Aside from the main characters, there are also a ton of side characters, ranging from a virus designer to an eBay notification to a cameo by the late Stan Lee.

    Overall, the film gets 3.5/5 stars: pretty average. The score would have been higher, but Disney has made several films  that are more enjoyable than this one, like Zootopia, The Lion King, or even the first Wreck-it Ralph film. Therefore, this films feels very disappointing. However, it is up to you whether you’d like to give it a chance!

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Movie Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Spoiler-Free)