Randy's Review: 'Wreck-it Ralph'

Friday, November 16, 2012

It ain't easy being bad

It seems like animation - especially computer-generated animation - has been hit-and-miss lately.

The newest addition to the genre, "Wreck-It Ralph," is a hit.

With the much anticipated "Rise of the Guardians" due for release at the holidays, "Wreck-it Ralph" had its work cut out for it but this tale about what goes on behind the scenes of the video game world when the arcade lights shut off is extremely entertaining.

The focus is on Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), a nine-foot monster of a man who lives in a dump and seems to have a hatred for the neighboring apartment building. When a kid dumps a quarter (or two or three) in the game, Ralph moves in and begins smashing away, destroying the building. The tenants call on the game's namesake, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock fame) to come in with his magic hammer and repair the damage while Ralph tries to hit him with rubble. When Felix is victorious, the residents all toss Ralph off the top of a multi-floor structure to the ground below and he wobbles back to the dump. Felix scores a medal and Ralph is hated.

When the game celebrates its 30th anniversary, a rare accomplishment in the video gaming industry, the apartment dwellers and Felix have a big party. But Ralph is left out of the fun. He's a bad guy. When he crashes the party, he literally crashes the party and decides he's tired of being the bad guy. Bad guys don't get medals.

So he goes "Turbo" and leaves his game in search of an opportunity to be a good guy and score a medal of his own to show the others he is capable of being a hero.

His first stop is a game called Hero's Duty, where he finds himself in a a space adventure to kill Cy-Bugs. There he encounters tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), the leader of the armed forces. When he fails brilliantly, he heads off to another game, Sugar Rush - a candy-land based race game. He immediately encounters an outcast, similar to himself, Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman), a child racer wanna-be referred to as a "glitch." While annoying, Ralph finds a companion in his fellow outsider.

With no Ralph, the Fix-It Felix game is placed out of order and its citizens face an uncertain future. Felix ventures to Hero's Duty, locates Calhoun and the two set off to find Ralph and the Cy-Bug that followed him into Sugar Rush. If the bug begins to populate, it will destroy the population of the Sugar Rush world.

This is an animated film that draws laughs from all ages. Ralph's time with the Bad Guys Support Group is classic. Life at "Tapper's" tavern, drinking root beer and watching guys from Street Fighter in the background enjoying conversation over a soda pop, will draw smiles from old video gamers. Like I said, there's fun for everyone. Take you kids to this one and have a ball.

Randy's Review: 'Wreck-It Ralph'

On a scale of 5 popcorn buckets, Wreck-It Ralph knocks the wall down with 3. While you might think this is a Kid's Pack feature, make sure to get yourself a bucket too. This is a good time for young and young at heart. MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence. Running Time: 1 hours, 48 minutes. This film was reviewed at Southpark 7 Theaters in Spencer.

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