Tony's Take

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET review

He’s Gonna Wreck-It, Again!

It’s taken 6 years for them to return, but Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) are back in Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet”!  Still at Litwak’s Arcade, their days are filled with repetition: players during operating hours, evenings spent in the power strip terminal followed by root beers at Tapper’s.  Wishing, craving for more, Vanellope gets her wish when a good gesture leads-to the unimaginable; the Sugar Rush console’s steering wheel breaking.  The arcade’s newly acquired “WIFI” router may be the only way to save the game, so Ralph and Vanellope venture-into the great unknown; where they are shown a whole new World.  Millions of tiny people venturing along, exploring the vast offerings of the internet.  Once arriving at their destination, eBay, they must find the only Sugar Rush steering wheel, buy it, and have it shipped before Mr. Litwak sells the game for parts at the end of the week.  The harsh reality that nothing comes for free hits the two of them like a ton of bricks, leading them on a quest that requires them to not only deal with the dangers of the world wide web, but to question their true desires and even their entire friendship.

It’s hard to believe that it took this long to finally get a sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph”, one of the most fun and original animated films of the last decade!  The original worked for audiences of all ages, as there was plenty to unpack for each grouping.  I’m happy to report that “Ralph Breaks the Internet” follows in the footsteps of its predecessor; there are so many memorable and well-placed references and character inclusions throughout the film.  Firstly, pop culture, once again, runs rampant as we see not only our friends from Litwak’s Arcade (Felix (Jack McBrayer), Calhoun (Jane Lynch), and Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill)), but so many other characters and creations that are beloved; ranging from Star Wars to Sonic the Hedgehog to even the man himself, Stan Lee!  However, it’s the inclusion of the Disney’s princesses that truly make the biggest impact and provide some of the biggest laughs of the film.  Precisely-placed, they not only break-down their shared “princess” stereotypes, they offer Princess Vanellope an introspective look into her true wants and desires.  Pocahontas, Anna, Ariel, Moana, Cinderella, Aurora, Jasmine, Merida, Elsa, Rapunzel, Belle, Snow White, Tiana, and Mulan absolutely steal the show and I couldn’t stop laughing (Be sure to pay attention to their clothing)!  Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson are the newcomers as a street racing specialist named Shank and an algorithm specialist named Yesss, as well as a strangely-uncredited Bill Hader.

Another marvel of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is their clever and well-thought plot elements of the internet.  Sure, they had the common sense inclusion, such as: blue birds for a tweet on Twitter and mail trucks full of emails going in-and-out of Google.  However, they also had some excellent ones as well, such as: an auctioneer at eBay during a bidding, pop-ups as annoying advertisers on the street, and a search bar run by KnowsMore (Alan Tudyk), with its hilarious autocomplete suggestions, fast search results, and frustration with no one ever saying thank you.  There were just too many to count; I’m sure I missed a ton!  While “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is both clever and funny, its true importance lies-within the message and moral of the story.  The film teaches viewers, young and old, the trials of being selfish and trying to control the ones we love and dangers of insecurity.  All viewers will be able to find a time in their lives of when they were in a similar situation and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” handles it beautifully; Disney once-again proves they are experts at delicately imprinting strong messages and values in their viewers.  While not to give anything away, the film even has its own “Disney song” and it absolutely works!  During its 112 minute run time, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” keeps you thoroughly entertained and provides many laughs, but, most importantly, it will leave you feeling great!  Absolute fun for the whole family!  And remember, be sure to stick around during and after the credits!

 4/5

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET is rated PG for some action and rude humor, in theaters NOVEMBER 21ST!

 

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