There is one line that can pretty much sum up this review, "Best video game movie EVER!" After a year of over hyped and disappointing movies, especially video game movies, it is so refreshing to find a movie that lives up to the hype and is amazing! Wreck-It Ralph is by far the best animated movie you will see this year, it is possible that it is even the best singular movie you will see all year. Screw Argo! Wreck-It ralph is where it is at!
It gives nods to every game from Q*Bert to Street Fighter and is a game for gamers and by gamers. However, the story and animation is so well done that is relatable to people who are not so into games. You may think that since the movie is based around an arcade game that was made in the early 80's that the movie will be filled with video game characters that are so old they may not be recognized by younger audiences. This is true to a point, but there are some characters your child could even name. Some as modern as Kano from the Mortal Kombat series.
Wreck-It Ralph takes place in the arcade world when all the quarters have run out and the arcades turn off their lights. The arcade characters trudge home and hang out with other such characters inside their world. The movie follows its namesake, Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph is the villain from the game Fix-It Felix Jr. game. The game is a Donkey Kong style game where Ralph attempts to wreck buildings before the hero, Fix-It Felix, can repair them. His catch phrase "I'm gonna wreck it!" is something like a warcry for all villians in the video game world.
There is a problem though, Ralph is a stand up guy. He abhors being the villain and after decades of doing it, he wants to try doing something good. This shocks his support group for villains that just cannot understand being bad in a world that only rewards good. The final stick in Ralphs' craw is when he is shunned at the anniversary party of his game. Eventhough he is decent friends with the games' hero, Fix-It Felix, but Felix shuns him in public because he is a villian.
Ralph embarks on a journey to prove that he can be a hero. After leaving a trail of disaster in his wake, it forces Fix-It Felix and major hard-arse Sergeant Calhoun to chase after him as his absence threatens the whole arcade world eventhough Ralph does not know it. Ralph eventually ends up in a racing game called "Sugar Rush" which is filled with cotton candy clouds and peppermint forest. Sugar Rush is essentiall candyland with Mario Kart racing where sassy girls race around the colorful landscape. This is perhaps the only downfall of the movie is that it maybe spends too much time in this place. Gamers probably would have liked to see a few more of the nostalgic game worlds. It is there that Ralph meets the glitchy Vanellope, who is also sort of a misfit. The two join together to overcome the perceptions of others.
Wreck-It Ralph is littered with big name voice actors. It is nice because it does not seem like the other voice actors are competing so steal the spot light like in other animated films. They seem to really respect each other and the film itself. John C. Reilly is amazing and hilarious as always and his heavily complimented by Sarah Silverman. Jane Lynch supports as the tough Sergeant Calhoun and plays a hard-arse with zest. Alan Tudyk is also a brilliant support as the mad man King Candy, who is essentially the Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland is he ate too much sugar.
It is easy to mistake Wreck-It Ralph as a Pixar film because Disney really put out all the stops to make it look amazing. Let us face it, Pixar does the best animation and who does not want to try and copy their style? The pixar style reminds us of our childhood and when you hit people with the nostalgia bat, it fills seats. I digress, though. The movie is filled with beautiful and bright scenery as well as characters. It is perhaps the most visually pleasing film since How To Train Your Dragon.
Wreck-It Ralph is all about finding your place in a crazy world and feeling good in your own skin. It is filled with great lessons to learn to make sense of our own world. Wreck-It Ralph is one of those movies that you can take your kids to and still enjoy the film as an adult. It does not matter if you are a hardcore gamer or have never played a video game in your life.
Some of the characters you can look forward to seeing in a the game are:
M.Bison, Zangrief, Chun-Li, Cammy, Ken, Ryu, and Blanka from the mutiple versions of Street Fighter.
Smoke and Kano from Mortal Kombat
Pac-Man, Clyde, and the ghosts from Pac-Man
Dig-Dug, Pooka, and Fygar from Dig-Dug
Q*Bert, Coily, Slick, Ugg, and Sam from Q*Bert
Tails, Sonic, and Eggman from Sonic
Daisy and Bowser from Super Mario
Frogger from Frogger
Diablo from Diablo
...and many more!
The fun part of Wreck-It Ralph is trying to identify all the characters. The above were just the ones I remember seeing. In fact, at one point I think I saw some graffiti on the walls that reference Aeris from Final Fantasy 7. there are definitely a lot of modern game references that I have missed as well. There is often a lot happening in the background, you know, characters walking around. So it may take a few more times of watching to really identify all the characters.
Go see the movie and see how many you can name. I know I am definitely missing some, but I have not played every game in the world...Yet.