“Wreck It Ralph” is a wonderful stand alone film. It tells a very neat story, with a nice message for families and children to walk away with, that ties the whole story with a nice little bow. When the trailer for “Ralph Breaks the Internet” was released, some people were worried. Would the sequel be able to live up to the acclaim of the original? Would it attempt to cram in too many pop culture references and sacrifice its storytelling integrity? Can the story possibly compound on the poignant and succinct ending of its predecessor? Well to be frank, if you were worried or had doubts, or had written “Ralph Breaks the Internet” off a simple children’s movie, put your doubts aside. “Ralph Break the Internet” is a delightful experience, with the same poignancy and honesty of its precursor, that manages to build on it’s characters and messages in a meaningful and smart way.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” takes place 6 years after the original, with our protagonists, arcade video game villain Ralph (John C. Reilly) and his best friend Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), who hails from a candy based racing game, who have since gotten accustomed to their way of life. The two live in an arcade, and spend all their free time together hanging out when they are done working in their respective video games. Things are quickly shaken up when the owner of the arcade adds a wifi-router to the arcade, giving them access to the internet. When the steering wheel on Vanellope’s arcade cabinet breaks, the pair must venture into the internet to Ebay to buy a replacement wheel. However, when they accidentally buy the $200 product for over $27,000, they must go on an adventure around the internet to raise the money, before Vanellope’s game is thrown out, leaving her without a game or a home.
To start, the voice performances here are stellar. John C. Reilly does an amazing job as the dopey, somewhat clingy Ralph. Reilly gives an endearing performance, showing a childlike love of fun, while also conveying his enormous and loving heart. He is a character that you can’t help but love. While Reilly is great, it’s Sarah Silverman who really steals the show. Vanellope is portrayed with a quick wit and dry sense of humor, all the while conveying her secret desire for a change in routine, which also serves as the main thematic arc of the movie. While Ralph is the protagonist and titular character, the movie’s true focus is Vanellope, and Silverman shoulders that responsibility excellently. Other cameos by Gal Godot as “Shank”, the hardened and incredibly cool leader of a racing gang in a violent video game, Taraji P. Henson as “Yesss” an eccentric algorithm for a YouTube-type site called “Buzztube,” and Alfred Molina as “Double Dan,” a virus salesman on the dark web, are also a pleasure to watch.
In terms of the thematic arc, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” has a very well crafted and thought provoking emotional base. It’s messages focuses on the imperfect nature of growing up, and how you and your friends may end up on different paths in life, but that doesn’t mean your friendship has to end. It is a touching, not so cut and dry message, the kind that family movies should contain, for it actually teaches something relevant. In contains a dramatic realism in comparison to the real world (that I’ll admit brought a few tears to my eyes). “Ralph Breaks the Internet” continues the traditions of the original in presenting an important and relevant messages for families to absorb.
Finally, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is genuinely exciting when it needs to be. There is an incredible racing sequence about halfway through the film that is a pleasure to watch. But what truly takes the cake is the final action set piece, that shall not be spoiled here, but is also an amazing spectacle. Without too many spoilers, the title of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is not necessarily a misnomer.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is absolutely worth seeing, whatever age you are. This review does not even begin to scratch the surface of this movies positives, so you should really see for yourself. With great performances, a touching message, and a good handle on pop-culture references, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is great film for the holiday season.