Review: Wreck-It Ralph / Cert: PG / Director: Rich Moore / Screenplay: Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee / Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk / Release Date: June 3rd
Wreck-It Ralph is the villain in the computer game Fit-It Felix Jr. His job is to wreck things, which he’s very good at. Felix (McBrayer) then comes along and saves the day, fixing everything that Ralph has broken before condemning him once again to the trash pile. Ralph (Reilly) starts to pine for a better life as a hero rather than a villain, even attending a support group for video game bad guys to try to come to terms with his role. He wants to win a medal and show that he’s not the person that his programming has created him to be.
At night, when the arcade is closed, characters are free to travel to other games and meet other characters. It is in a game called Hero’s Duty that Ralph spots his chance to grab that gold hero medal and take it back to his own pixelated world to prove he’s a good guy too. After rather surreptitiously grabbing the medal, Ralph inadvertently ends up in another game, Sugar Rush – a sickly sweet racing game in which he meets Vanellope von Schweetz. Vanellope (Silverman) is a glitched character who wants to race, but is always blocked from entering by King Candy (Tudyk).
What follows is the usual Disney fare of characters overcoming adversity and finding out more about themselves along the way. This is what Disney do best, so why does this film seem ever so slightly off?
For a start, McBrayer has a grating voice that is irritating enough in 30 Rock, so why he’s given a lead character to voice is anyone’s guess. There are some nice touches and amusing sight and sound gags as you try to spot and name all the other video game characters that you can remember (kudos if you spotted the Metal Gear Solid nod), but Hero’s Duty is an obvious copy of Gears of War, a game that the core audience of this film won’t even know about.
The kids will probably love it and gaming parents will get a few kicks out of seeing their childhood heroes and villains appear on screen, but compared with recent releases such as Tangled and the Pixar roster, Wreck-It Ralph seems to be ever so slightly off target.
Extras: Paperman / Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-I Ralph / Alternate and deleted scenes / Video game commercials