Review: RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (Wreck-It Ralph 2)

by Charles Gerian

“When you break the Internet you don't literally have to *break* the Internet!”

Disney's RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, or Wreck it Ralph 2, opened this past Thanksgiving holiday along with WB's boxing sequel CREED II, and both have been sharing the load of carrying a very successful weekend at the movies.

A sequel to Disney's 2012 comedy WRECK IT RALPH, this installment finds us six years later focusing once again on 80's video-game villain turned good guy Ralph (the always a dream John C. Reilly) and his best friend a few arcade machines over, the spunky little go-kart racer Vanellope Von Schweetz (an electrically charismatic Sarah Silverman), who journey into the internet via a newly installed wifi router in their arcade to secure a new steering wheel for Vanellope's machine cabinet before the owner pulls the plug on her ga,e for good.

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET is a wonderful animated comedy, and has a bafflingly unexpected sense of maturity about it's surprisingly heartfelt message. 2012's original film was all about finding your own identity and not being painted into a box, and was all about finding friends in the most unexpected places. The sequel, coming six later, is about maintaining that friendship and that concept of leaving an old life behind but still being burdened by some of it. “

A major thematic thread through this is Ralph's insecurities about being alone and being, essentially, friendless as Vanellope decides maybe her game “Sugar Rush” just isn't for her anymore and wants to move to the internet where she can join a multiplayer online game “Slaughter Race”. Vanellope naturally is upset that Ralph tries to sabotage her leaving him, and Ralph must fight his own demons both literally and figuratively, to reach a conclusion in himself. It's something that really surprised me because it reaches deeper than the surface level ruminations from recent animated Disney entries like MOANA or FROZEN while still keeping a fun, colorful, and hilarious vibe.

There's absolutely more than enough in RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET to unpack for both adults and children, and the film would make a great afternoon for both. Adults will appreciate some of the more mature and dark bits of humor while kids of course will love the mile-a-minute internet pop culture gags as well as the general shenanigans of the film's protagonists.

The vocal talent for RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET includes Reilly and Silverman as Ralph and Vanellope, Gal Gadot as the wild and completely awesome “Slaughter Race” driver Shank, Jane Lynch returning as Sergeant Calhoun, Jack McBrayer as Fix-it Felix Jr., Bill Hader, Alffred Molina, Alan Tudyk, and a slew of cameo voice roles and reprisals from all of the animated Disney princess (in the film's highlight scene) and appearances from characters like Sonic the Hedgehog (Roger Craig Smith), C-3PO, Baby Groot, and more. It's honestly quite impressive!

The next few weeks are shockingly empty at the movies, with the next big calendar release being December 14's packed weekend of the young-adult themed MORTAL ENGINES, Clint Eastwood's latest gritty drama THE MULE, and Sony's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE which I am the most excited to see of the three. After that, we're almost into wrapping up 2018! Can you believe that?

I suppose, speaking of video-games, I should also mention that I purchased “Fallout 76” on Black Friday and am just enamored with it. Really, what a game! Memes aside, I really don't understand where the heat on this has been coming from. Grab a copy though, and come have fun in the Wasteland.