Wreck-It Ralph returns after a surprisingly successful film in 2012 that some have called the ‘best video game film of all time’. Since the first film was released, Wreck-It Ralph has turned up in actual video games and Kanye West has compared himself to Vanellope von Schweetz. The highly anticipated sequel gets out of the arcade and into the big wide world of the internet.
After the events of the first film Ralph and Vanellope has embraced their video game characters and spend their downtime playing other games within the arcade. After Sugar Rush’s steering wheel breaks and the owner of the arcade can’t afford to buy a new one, Ralph and Vanellope decide to travel to the internet to buy the wheel from eBay. If they don’t succeed then Sugar Rush will be shut down forever.
The Wreck-It Ralph universe is such fun to immerse yourself within, the huge plethora of video games characters and references is enjoyable. The internet exaggerates this tenfold. When you have the weight of Disney behind you, you have the ability to reference almost half of popular culture. Get ready for Ready Player One levels of pop culture references. It is fun to see so many characters mold into one universe, Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Pixar characters and even more video game characters. There is also loads of brands, Youtube, Facebook, Amazon, Google, eBay just to name a few and they are heavily prominent through the film.
At points the over commercialization within the film can become overwhelming. I know the film is suppose to give an accurate representation of the internet and it was very good at producing the wonderful but flawed image of the internet. However as a viewer, at times it took you out of the universe and felt more like an advert. On the other hand this film is absolutely brilliant at creating a functioning civilization within the world wide web. Virtual avatars fly through the cacophony of media and product consumption, jumping from site to site. The pace of this film is so fast that because it is within the internet, it just works. Using the internet was the next best step for the Wreck-It Ralph universe, it was a sure fire way to create a bigger and better sequel.
Using the internet also has its flaws with some jokes probably will outdate even by the time I finished writing this review. Where the first film relied on the nostalgia, this film relies heavily on memes and viral videos which has a tendency to fade away into obscurity within seconds. Seeing Wreck-It Ralph flossing hurt me inside. Some sections of this film will not make sense to people in the next few years and it is a bit of shame to fall back on cheap viral phenomenons. Behind the memes, pop culture references and cameos though is a deep and impactful story between two friends that have conflicting desires. Ralph wants to return back to the arcade whereas Vanellope Von Schweetz wants to explore. It is this emotional depth to this film and the previous that differs from other family films. This is not just some silly video game movie about the internet, it has a deeper subtext that stripping down all the brands, video games and movie references, it is a film about two friends that has a conflict of interest and how you deal with that.
Wreck-It Ralph 2 is a fast paced fun experience that is full of brilliant and hilarious scenes that has one of the strangest finales I have ever seen and would of never ever thought would happen. It is amazing to see so many characters from other universes colliding and is one of the greatest representations of the internet put on film. Wreck-It Ralph 2 proves that animations and sequels can be brilliant pieces of filmmaking. There are a few minor flaws with some of the references and some jokes not hitting but overall Wreck-It Ralph 2 is just as fun and exciting as the first film. It has the charm, the wit and visual splendour that we all know and loved from the first Wreck-It Ralph but increased tenfold with the inclusion of the internet.
Rating – ★★★★