Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph Review

I don’t like to feel feelings. It’s one of the only things that makes me even remotely male. That’s not to say I don’t feel things. My wife will tell you, primarily if I’m trying to act tough in front of the other apes, how often I cry. But if there’s anyone who knows how to crack into my hardened and cynical heart and squeeze tears out of me, it’s Disney and their subsidiary Pixar. This movie was no exception.

Wreck-It Ralph is about video game bad guy Wreck-It Ralph, who is something of a humanoid composite of Donkey Kong and the characters from Rampage. Even though he is as integral to the game as his hero counterpart, Fix-It Felix, he feels under appreciated in the video game world. Everyone is afraid of the bad guys and nobody wants to be around them. In an effort to gain some appreciation, Ralph ventures out of his game and into Hero’s Duty (a Halo-esque game) where he tries to win a medal and become a hero. His misadventure leads him to Sugar Rush (a Japanese anime styled Mario Cart). Where he meets Vanelope, who is just as misunderstood as he is. They bond, things happen, and then everyone learns their lesson. That sounds really dismissive, but I’m really just trying not to spoil anything.

I knew I was going to love this movie when I first heard of it, months ago. I ran into the bedroom where my wife was trying to relax and read and I said “LOOK!!! DISNEY MADE A MOVIE FOR ME!!!”. I was met with the usual eye-roll that follows when I want to show her a video on the Internet, but she agreed it looked good. I had no idea what we were in for though.

Wreck-It Ralph is “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” meets “Toy Story” in an arcade. That’s essentially the formula for a great Ryan McGillen movie. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is my all-time favorite movie and I love Toy Story. Really I love any movie where I get to see what life was like for the things I loved as a kid when I left the room.

Needless to say, I loved this movie. It had a lot of great little cameos from classic video game characters (my favorite appearance being Kano from Mortal Kombat. I won’t tell you what happens, but I laughed out loud while everyone else just stared) and hilarious references to arcade game culture. The voice cast is terrific and the dialogue is great. It’s hard to hold a grown-ups mirror to a kid’s movie, so I try to give it a little leg up and not be too hard. There are flaws that would be less forgivable if this was a grown-ups movie, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it. You definitely should.   

My opinion might've been swayed by meeting the stars last week.