Reel Reviews: Ralph wreaks havoc

Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly provide the voices of go-kart racer Vanellope and Wreck-It Ralph, respectively. - Disney Pictures
Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly provide the voices of go-kart racer Vanellope and Wreck-It Ralph, respectively.
— image credit: Disney Pictures

Alittle known fact of the video game world, after the arcade is closed and the kids go home, the characters who live in their video games, punch out of their “day jobs” and mingle in an electronic universe where characters, like Pac Man, are real.

Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy from the fictional video game “Fix-it Felix Jr.” After not being invited to the 30th anniversary of their game, Ralph decides he’s had enough of being under-appreciated and ostracized by the other characters. After all, what would there be for Felix Jr. to fix if Ralph wasn’t around to wreck it? Ralph decides to seek something new and more meaningful in a different game.

We say, “It’s too rude and violent for young kids; too cute and sweet for older kids.”

HOWE: Wreck-It Ralph is a pretty looking movie, but then again, what else would you have expected from the Land where Dreams come true?

The concept of the movie is not something we haven’t seen before. Take the Toy Story scenario, change it from toys coming to life when the kids are away to video game characters coming to life when the arcade closes.

TAYLOR: This is a quality film, definitely up to the Disney standard, but the film just doesn’t work for me. It wasn’t fun, cool, funny or meaningful. It probably would have been awesome in 1988. This film is about 25 years too late. It bored me and worse yet, I think it bored the kids in the audience.

HOWE: There are very few funny moments dotted throughout it, mostly aimed at people in their mid 30s onwards. I think that has to do with fact that our generation witnessed the birth of video games: Space Invaders and Asteroids, Atari and Intellivision.

TAYLOR: I snickered once, more of a snort really. But I was listening and I didn’t hear many kids laugh, and they were ready to laugh. They laughed more at the previews than they did at Wreck-it Ralph.

Certainly, there is no problem with putting in a few jokes for the adults, references to QBert or other older game characters, but this isn’t meant to be a film for nostalgic nerds, (like us.) It’s supposed to be for kids, and I think Ralph doesn’t only fail to deliver, but may actually contain inappropriate messages for its target audience.

HOWE: I agree with you. It’s not sending the right message to the kids: King Candy brainwashes the racers from the game Sugar Rush to bully and be rude, the townsfolk of Fix-it Felix Jr. shun Ralph from their party, if only because he’s different. We see and hear enough of these cruel acts in real life and for Disney to put it in a movie and make light of it, is a bad call. I was going to take my little boy to watch it, I’m glad I didn’t.

–– Howe gives Wreck-It Ralph 1.5 candy canes out of 5.

–– Taylor gives it 2 quarters out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers living in Vernon, B.C.


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