A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.
Review by Louise Keller:
You can't change the essence of who you are is the moral of this lovable Disney 3D animation that champions the programmed characters of video games to tell its funny and entertaining tale. By imagining a universe within the world of video games, not unlike the way Toy Story brought us its magic through its lovable toys, every character - good and bad - is shown to have its purpose. With its inventive premise, clever script and wacky characters, this family friendly film tells the story of the video game's bad guy, whose colourful adventures and life affirming journey allow him to realise his true worth.
In the world of arcade video games, there is nothing worse than being unplugged - when your game and all the characters in it are shut down. But Ralph, the 9 foot 643 lb villain with the big hands and explosive temper (voiced by John C. Reilly, superb) is no longer content with being part of the popular game Fix It Felix, destroying everything, so that Felix can tap and fix it with his magic hammer. He watches wistfully from the distance as Felix reaps words of thanks, cakes and medals. 'It must be nice to be a good guy,' Ralph moans at a bad guy therapy session, sitting in a circle of bad guys, including Satan. The final straw comes at the party celebrating the arcade game's 30th anniversary to which Ralph is uninvited. 'I'm bad and that's good; there's no-one I'd rather be than bad,' he tells himself.
Ralph's dramatic attempts to become a hero and earn his own medal, sets him on a wild adventure outside the comfort zone of his own game. Along the way, he meets Calhoun (Jane Lynch) a kick-ass commander with a tragic backstory, the lisping, crafty Candy King (deliciously played by Alan Tudyk), ruler of the sweet Land of Sugar Rush and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman, the cutest little confection glitch character) who desperately wants to race on the cocoa coated raceway but is sidelined because of her pixlexia. Genuine good guy Felix (Jack McBrayer) also plays his part, and amusingly suffers from honey glows when smitten by the charms of the sexy Calhoun.
The lines are witty and entertaining ('Flattery doesn't charge her batteries'; 'Doomsday and Armageddon had a baby and it is ugly'), while the gorgeous visuals make our eyes pop with a kaleidoscope of colours in its Sugar Rush reality - candy cane trees, jube stepping stones, deadly Nesquik sand, diet Cola hot springs, falling mentos.
Best of all is the film's big, beating heart through the relationship between the massive Ralph and the diminutive Vanellope. It is credit to the screenwriters that the highly layered, complex narrative is told simply and without confusion. You can be guaranteed that when Executive Producer John Lassiter puts his name to something, it bears the quality entertainment stamp.
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WRECK-IT RALPH (PG)
VOICES: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman, Adam Carolla, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Joe Lo Truglio
PRODUCER: Clark Spencer
DIRECTOR: Rich Moore
SCRIPT: Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee
EDITOR: Not credited
MUSIC: Henry Jackman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ian Gooding
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2012
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.