This review was originally posted on Criticize This!
As a child of the ’80s who grew up on Nintendo and Atari and spent a lot of time at the local arcade wasting my allowance, I have been highly anticipating Wreck-It Ralph for months and expected nothing but great things from it. Well, game on! It exceeded what I wanted to get out of it and is an amazing, original film that absolutely blew me away and was the most fun I’ve had at the theatre all year.
Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in Fix-It Felix, a popular game that has been a mainstay of the arcade for 30 years. His job is to destroy a building as Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) rebuilds it and saves the people inside of it before throwing Ralph off the roof and winning a gold medal. After doing this for three decades Ralph is tired of being the bad guy and decides to jump to a game he can be the hero in. With him missing from Fix-It Felix though, the game appears broken in the real world and risks being unplugged for good.
Written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston, and directed by Rich Moore,Wreck-It Ralph is highly innovative in the way it blends real video game characters into its world. One of the best scenes is where Ralph attends Bad-Anon, an Alcoholics Anonymous type meeting for video game villains, and is joined by the ghost from Pac-Man, M. Bison and Zangief from Street Fighter, Bowser from Super Mario Bros., Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog, and a few other recognizable baddies. Sonic, Q-Bert, and many other classic game characters also make an appearance and should get anyone over 28 giddy to see them on screen.
Reilly and McBrayer really fit their characters perfectly and it would be hard to imagine anyone else voicing them. Sarah Silverman as Vanellope Von Schweetz, a glitch in the colourful kart racing game Sugar Rush, Jane Lynch as the tough-as-nails Sgt. Calhoun from the HALO-esque Hero’s Duty, and Alan Tudyk as King Candy, also from Sugar Rush, are all perfectly cast too and really get to play it up.
The animation is bright and colourful and is jaw-dropping at times it’s so awesome. The 3-D is used extremely well and is better than any other animated film I’ve seen this year, too. The score is also worth mentioning as it’s a nice mix of old and new and incorporates some 8-bit nostalgia along with the sound of newer electronic music, such as Skrillex. It works and really wowed me.
No question, I loved Wreck-It Ralph and highly recommend it. But my 5-year-old loved it even more and is making me take him to see it again this weekend. And probably again a few more times after that.
Rating: **** (out of 5 stars)