Review: Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph - Credit: Archant

If the movies are a pale imitation of life then video/computer/ arcade games are pale imitations of movies and movies of video games are this close to being nothing at all.

Now, that's not the case with this Disney animation about an arcade game character who tries to rebel against his virtual lot. By the stellar standard of recent animation this does feel a bit thin, a reworking of overly familiar themes made up of bits and bobs lifted from stuff we've already seen.

The premise is a Toy Story variation. Every evening, after the games in the arcade are turned off, all the characters in them have a social life.

Wreck-It Ralph (voiced John C Reilly) is the bad guy in a game called Fix-It Felix Jr. However, after years of destruction, Ralph yearns to be the hero for once. So with a heavy heart, Ralph breaks protocol to seek adventure in a futuristic first-person shooting game called Hero's Duty, serving under the command of ballsy space trooper Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). But Ralph escapes the game and unwittingly transports an alien Cy-Bug from Hero's Duty into the neighbouring Sugar Rush racing game.

While the creature lays eggs and prepares to overrun the realm of King Candy (Alan Tudyk) and his subjects, Ralph befriends diminutive misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Ralph makes a shocking discovery about Vanellope's past and he realises that to cure her coding glitch, he must help the sassy tyke beat her rivals to the chequered flag in her modified go-kart.

Ralph, with his enormous forearms is like an incredible Hulk who retains Bruce Banner's personality and Reilly makes him into an appealing, even moving character.

You may wonder though why this kid's animation has rather intense action scenes that borrow widely from those in Starship Trooper or Matrix Revolutions.

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Directed by Rich Moore

Featuring John C. Reilly, Sara Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Alan Tudyk and Adam Carolla

Length: 101 mins