Ralph Breaks The Internet
I went in with my expectations fairly low! I really enjoyed Wreck-it Ralph and hoped Ralph Breaks the internet wouldn’t spoil any characters or painfully belly-flop into the list of sequels I wished never existed. Not only did it not Belly-flop, but it gracefully dived into the movie list with the least amount of films under the heading: ‘Sequels that were better than the original”.
Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) have settled into a regular ‘best-friends’ routine. By day they work in their assigned games and by night they hang out, drink Root beer and watch the sun come up. Ralph has never been so content. He has all he thinks he’ll ever need. A friend. Vanellope, on the other hand, has become a little discontent with the status quo. She wants more excitement than the same 3 racing tracks and a fairly predictable life. When Ralph plans a little surprise for her and Venellope ends up without a game to call home, things look dire. There’s only one solution. The internet.
Taking Ralph and Venellope into the internet is pure genius. A potential minefield of not-safe-for-children content is handled with a certain expertise that perhaps only Disney has. The cinema was laughing from start to finish as things like pop-up-ads and ad blockers were brought to life in the funniest ways. It even manages to dip it’s toes into the dark web without causing offense! It felt very much like the creative team was lie “OMG LETS DO A MOVIE ABOUT THE INTERNET AND MAKE JOKES ABOUT THIS AND THIS AND THIS AND THIS” and then realised they’d have to also work an actual storyline into it as well. Not to say that the plot was awful, it just didn’t feel completely well thought-out and the conclusion was a little ‘meh’. However, I think the lessons learned by the characters and the friendship issues they face are well-handled and are probably delivered in a way kids will actually take on-board.
All your old favourite characters from Wreck-it Ralph are side-lined fairly quickly this time round to make room for some awesome new ones! Fix-It Felix Jr and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun are pretty much the only characters who get any character development (and it’s great). Shank (Gal Gadot *drool*) is the stand out character addition. She is the badassist (shutup), car racing, gang leader-lady EVER. She also has some genuinely awesome advice for Venellope. The involvement of the Disney Princesses in the film were some of my absolute favourite moments (if you thought the princess scene revealed in the trailer was the best part…think again)! Disney really seemed to have fun making jokes at it’s own expense and also, in the words of one of the characters, gave a real donkey-kick to the teeth to the Scottish.
I don’t know if it’s worth making this comment or not – and I know it’s going to irritate some people that I even bring it up… but the only slight issue I have with Ralph Breaks the Internet, is that it’s a movie about a friendship between a possessive grown man and a little girl. This dynamic being inappropriate didn’t even cross my mind in Wreck-it-Ralph and I can’t quite put my finger on what it was in Ralph Breaks the Internet that sparked that slightly sick feeling in my stomach. Maybe it was that it’s set in the internet – a world where that kind of ‘friendship’ should have alarm bells plastered all over them – not normalised, or maybe it was because their dynamic changed from more of a chummy father-daughter vibe to a jealous, clingy friend-vibe. Not an ideal dynamic for a friendship with such an age gap. I do, however, want to make it clear that the movie did not have any hint of inappropriateness in that area. Not at all! I loved every minute of the movie. It was just as the credits started rolling, the discomfort crept in. I just watched a movie about a friendship between a possessive grown man and a little girl…. And Disney made me think it was cool.
COMING TO CINEMAS: 26th December 2018
Rating: PG Violence.