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I didn't really know what to expect out of this movie before going in, since all of the trailers were pretty much just a bunch of little scenes here and there that didn't really give a very good story. And having watched it, I can see why.
Spoilers lie ahead for Ralph Breaks the Internet. You have been warned.
Here's my review!
Ralph Breaks the Internet is an animated comedy adventure film that follows video game bad guy Wreck-It Ralph and his best friend, Vanellope Von Schweetz as they travel to the Internet in order to buy a steering wheel that would stop the game, Sugar Rush, from getting unplugged.
This film is a sequel to the 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph, and it's the first Disney sequel to be released in theaters since Fantasia 2000. And personally, I didn't like this movie that much.
Let's start with the good: this movie builds on the world that was established in the original Wreck-It Ralph really well by introducing us to the completely different world of the Internet, and bringing in some clever ways to show how the Internet is used.
We also have some very good vocal performances from John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman. This movie also introduced an awesome new character portrayed by Gal Gadot, and there were a lot of very impressive visuals in this movie.
And that's pretty much everything good about the film. This movie was just very average and forgettable to me. I couldn't care less about the film's conflict. It's literally a journey about two friends trying to pay for a steering wheel. That's the whole story. And here's why it doesn't work.
Ralph and Vanellope have to pay for a wheel after they won it on eBay for a few thousand dollars. They're gonna have it shipped to the arcade so that Sugar Rush can be fixed. But they don't have a credit card number to pay for it. So, the rest of the movie is them trying to get money for the wheel.
They get the money by uploading a bunch of viral videos and collecting ad revenue. But how does that help them pay for a real-life steering wheel? All this money that's getting received from these videos is going to a bank account under the name "Ralph, Wreck I," apparently.
So how were they able to pay for the steering wheel? How did the seller of the wheel receive money if the money was won by a bunch of fictional video game characters with no credit card? I can't even believe the words I'm typing right now.
Also, this movie didn't know how to time-frame. Ralph and Vanellope had 24 hours to pay for the wheel after not being able to provide a credit card number. They then met up with a pop-up advertiser, had a brief adventure in the game, Slaughter Race, and when they left, they only had eight hours left.
HOW DID THEY JUMP FROM 24 HOURS TO 8 HOURS?! I can imagine all of the events that unfolded between that time frame to have taken two or three hours, but I'm not buying that they spent 16 hours in that game.
Then, they upload a bunch of their videos, which had to have taken a fair amount of time to think of, film, and edit. And when the videos go online, they all go viral.
I can believe that much, but one video ended up having over 300 million views. I'm not buying for a second that a video can receive that many views in only a few hours, nor do I believe that a couple of videos can make over $30,000 in ad revenue in such a short span of time right after their upload.
A viral video that came out a few years back is the "Charlie Bit My Finger" video. And that video took YEARS to receive 300 million views.
So, I'm calling BS on the idea that a bunch of mildly funny videos starring a 1980s video game bad guy can receive billions of views (collectively) over the course of just a few hours.
They also didn't create an account to upload the videos, so I have no idea how that even worked. Everything that happens in this movie is straight-up illogical and based on random, unbelievable acts of chance. The plot only moves forward because Ralph and Vanellope lucked out.
And in the movie, they have little pop-up advertisers that pop up in front of you and advertise their products. Pop-ups get used in the film to advertise Ralph's videos all over Instagram and other sites so that more people can watch the videos.
I'm sorry. Does this movie take place on the planet Earth? Because the last time I checked, NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS would click on a pop-up ad advertising dumb videos about an old arcade game villain. When was the last time you saw a pop-up ad without immediately clicking the X in the corner?!
Now, you're probably thinking, "Why are you thinking that much about it? This is a kids' movie! It's not supposed to be for adults." And to that, I say that a movie shouldn't get away with numerous plot holes just because it's aimed at children.
Like, I had to suspend some disbelief for the original Wreck-It Ralph, and I actually really liked the original. But this movie is just illogical in every way. It barely tries to even make the slightest semblance of sense, and it tries more to just pander to children.
There are some moments in this movie that are just so poorly made. Like, one scene in this film has Ralph walk into the comments section and get happy after seeing people compliment him, but immediately start crying once he sees some negative comments about him.
DAMN! That scene was so dumb it was laughable. It was like a mixture of a "don't read the cancerous comments" joke along with an attempt at real emotion. And this scene contributed nothing to the movie as well. I didn't get what they were trying to say with Ralph's character or anything.
And I guess that along with the journey to get a lot of views and likes (which is obviously the right message for children these days), there's also the subplot in which Ralph is worried about Vanellope leaving him and them not being friends anymore.
Ralph decides to send a virus to Slaughter Race so that Vanellope wouldn't want to be there anymore, and this is a pretty interesting part of the film. But the virus escapes and the final act ends up being the most rushed, last-minute cluster-f**k I've ever seen.
The film ends with the virus leaving the game and creating a million clones of Ralph and his insecurities, which begin to take over the Internet and start f**king things up.
And get this—the Ralph clones, for whatever reason, decide to pile themselves up and form a gigantic walking Wreck-It Ralph made up of a bunch of tinier Ralphs who only moan and grunt.
I was literally facepalming during this climax because I genuinely was in shock from how ridiculous this was. This was the most ridiculous, absurd climax I've ever seen.
This final act didn't have ANYTHING to do with the first two acts. It literally felt like the writers went, "Well, they have the money for the wheel. And they're also not friends anymore. I have an idea! Let's reunite them by having them talk to some giant Wreck-It Ralph made up of a million tiny clones of Ralph! BRILLIANT!"
I was about to burst out laughing from how terrible this was. It was such a disjointed way to end the movie and the idea that the film ended with billions of people across the world having Internet problems because of a 200-foot tall walking virus made up of a bunch of insecure clones of a 1980s video game bad guy is just too hilariously stupid for me to process.
You know how the virus stops? Vanellope and Ralph talk to it. They talk to this gigantic Ralph sculpture about insecurities and what it means to be a good friend. And THAT'S what saves the Internet used by billions from getting taken down by some giant 80s video game character.
The only word that I can use for a film ending like this is "peculiar." It's not normal, and it lacks the amount of tearjerking and thrills as the climax of the original Wreck-It Ralph.
I also wasn't a fan of how this movie didn't have a villain. Because when you have a villain as evil and menacing as the one in the original Wreck-It Ralph, you should probably try to TOP that in the sequel. But instead, there is no bad guy in this film.
With the introduction of the Internet in this movie, it brings up a lot MORE questions about the way this whole video game system works.
Because Slaughter Race is an Internet game, right? So what happens if two people on the Internet are playing that game at the same time? What would that look like? In the arcades, only one game can be played at a time, and that's why it made a bit of sense. But you can have a million of the exact same Internet game getting played at once.
And I know that if something like that was explained in the film, it would have been disjointed and children wouldn't care. But I'm still just bothered by how illogical this film is in the long run.
We also have the fact that near the end of the film, Ralph had 30 minutes left to pay for the wheel. And in that time, he had time to talk to Vanellope, battle a gigantic monster made of clones of himself, fix everything up with Vanellope, and still have time to spare to pay for the steering wheel.
And Mr. Litwack, the arcade guy, obviously isn't gonna question why he randomly received an expensive-ass Sugar Rush steering wheel from nobody, either.
He's also apparently not gonna question why Vanellope, the most popular character, just randomly vanished from Sugar Rush. And NO ONE is gonna question why a character who disappeared from Sugar Rush is now racing for Slaughter Race.
Early in the film, Mr. Litwack remarks that Sugar Rush usually makes less than $200 a month, which is why it wouldn't be profitable to spend $200 on a new wheel. Well, if few people are still playing Sugar Rush, then why is it still a game in the arcade? Why hasn't it been replaced yet?
And in the scene where Mr. Litwack says this, ANY ONE OF THE KIDS could have turned, looked at the Sugar Rush screen, and seen the video game characters, INCLUDING Wreck-It Ralph, looking directly at Mr. Litwack and the children, puzzled at the conversation they were having.
The fact that no one saw the video game characters looking at the real-life people in that scene, along with everything else in this film, requires me to suspend way too much disbelief for me to truly enjoy watching this film.
There WAS this scene in the film, though, where Vanellope enters Oh My Disney and we get to see characters like C-3PO, Groot, Buzz Lightyear, and the Disney princesses. The screen is filled to the top with these easter eggs, and we get to hear the Imperial March from Star Wars along with an A113 written on the wall.
And though this was definitely my favorite scene in the film, it did kind of feel like filler.
The writers also made the peculiar choice to significantly decrease the roles of Fix-It Felix Jr. and Sergeant Calhoun. In fact, they're very minor characters in this movie, and I expected them to eventually get back into the action at the end.
But overall, I'd say this movie disappointed me. It has a great soundtrack, great visuals, and children will love it, but I just found so many plot holes and confusions about this movie, and again, the final act of this movie is very weird and disjointed.
I'm Jonathan Sim and I give this movie a 7.8/10.
You know, you have this movie... and you have The Emoji Movie. Can you animators stop trying to be young and hip? Please???