Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

If there’s one defining characteristic of Ralph, it’s that he wants to be the good guy.  In the first movie, he comes to terms with the fact that he’s cast on the role of his game’s villain.  People start to respect him.  He even makes a friend of Vanellope.

If there’s a second defining characteristic of Ralph, it’s that he doesn’t want things to change.  Six years later and he has his routine down.  He spends his days as the bad guy in Fix-It Felix, Jr. and his nights drinking root beer with Vanellope.  She wants change, though.  She’s beaten all of the courses in her video game.

In a way, she’s having the same crisis that Ralph did in the first movie.  There has to be more to life than what her video-game world has to offer.  She wants to try something new, which Ralph helps her with.  Despite the good intentions, this leads to a broken controller on the Sugar Rush game.  All of the characters make it out before the console is unplugged.

There is a possible save, though.  A replacement part is available on eBay.  Granted, it would cost more than the game could ever make, but it gives Ralph the means by which to save Vanellope and her friends.  Luckily, Mr. Litwak’s video arcade just got wi-fi.  So, Ralph and Vanellope head off to eBay in hopes of putting things back the way they were.

If you haven’t seen Wreck-It Ralph, you should.  It’s an awesome movie that happens to have an awesome sequel.  It’s not necessary.  I don’t think that this movie would have anything that would be a major spoiler.  Yes, the presence of a sequel implies that everything works out in the first movie.  Like you wouldn’t have known that going in, anyway.

Similarly, you know everything‘s going to work out fine here.  Both Ralph and Vanellope have some growing to do.  Ralph means well, but he can be a bit suffocating at times.  Vanellope is, technically, a Disney Princess.  (The other princesses actually make a pretty good case for inclusion here.)  She also finds that if she really wants something, it’s ok to go for it.

If you’re a parent thinking of taking a child to see the movie, don’t worry.  There’s plenty in the movie for you, too.  The layout of the Internet is a sight to behold.  There are also a lot of references to the Internet and other movies.  Major sites like IMDB and Google get their own buildings.  Stormtroopers chase the main characters.  Pop-up banners have proprietors, such as J.P. Spamley.  (There’s even a nod to Geocities for those of you that have been around a while.)

I had wanted to see it on opening day, but my work schedule would have none of that.  I was able to see it Saturday in 3D.  I don’t know that it’s going to be worth the extra money for most people.  Given the option, I do like 3D.  (I’ve also recently started using AMC’s A-List, which doesn’t charge extra for 3D if it’s one of your three movies for the week.  If you have A-List, go for the 3D.)

There is a certain lesson to be learned in not reading the comments.  You’ll always end up reading something you don’t want to read.  The irony is that the messages that need to be put out there don’t always get across.  It’s hard to say something necessary to someone you’re close to.  I suppose there’s a certain symmetry to the two movies.  In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph learned that it’s ok to be the bad guy.  In Ralph Breaks the Internet, he learned that he doesn’t always have to be the good guy,

IMDb page

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