Wreck-It Ralph Review
2012-11-16, 12:30 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Total spoileration happens from this point on. Don't say I didn't warn you.
So Wreck-It Ralph has been the villain in the "Fix It Felix Jr." arcade game for 30 years now at Litwak's Arcade. He's good at his job, which is wrecking a fancy apartment building that got built over his home. Every day he breaks the windows, every day Felix Jr. and his magical hammer fix it. Felix gets medals and pies and parties for it. Ralph, on the other hand, lives in a pile of bricks at the dump. And when nobody's at the arcade and everyone in videogameland is off duty, Ralph STILL gets treated like crap by the Nicelanders in his video game--they don't even invite him to the game's 30th anniversary party. Ralph goes to a "Bad-Anon" meeting put on by a Pac-Man ghost and confesses his feelings, but his fellow villains are all, "Hey, we're needed in game" and "Just because you're a bad guy doesn't mean you have to be a bad guy. All good points, but not something Ralph is in to right now. After getting in an argument at the anniversary party he had to barge into--he also breaks some stuff getting in and accidentally kills Felix temporarily-- Ralph decides he's going to get his own medal somehow. Adjourning to the nearest Tapper bar game, he finds out from a drunk, scared character from the first person shooter (a la Starship Troopers) "Hero's Duty" that there's a medal in that game. Ralph purloins his armor, tells what he's doing to Q-Bert (whose game has been shut off and he's now hanging around Grand Central Powerstrip like a homeless person) and heads into the game. This is the sort of thing that freaks the citizens of Arcadelandia out, because there used to be a character named "Turbo" who invaded another game after another racing game was getting more attention than his original one. This caused both games to be turned off, so "going Turbo" gives people the creeps.
Ralph doesn't like the game he's gone into too much--"when did video games get so violent?"--but cheats his way into getting the medal. Then he accidentally sets off one of the Cy-Bugs into hatching, accidentally ends up in a spaceship and while trying to fend the bug off, accidentally flies into and crash lands into the game "Sugar Rush," which is full of candy, candy go-kart racing, and kyoot wittle kids. One of whom insults him and takes his medal.
That kid, Vanellope, has her problems too. She has a glitch in her programming that causes her to pixelate periodically, and everyone in her game hates her because of this. Every night there's a race-off and the top nine kids get to be the options for avatars that the players can use. But you have to have a gold coin from previous wins to get into the race, which Vanellope doesn't have until she steals the medal and drops it into the machine. She gets on the board, but everyone wants her out of the race. And they smash her homemade car to boot. Ralph sees this and has his own flashbacks to how he's the buttmonkey in his game and he feels sorry for her. So he helps her break into the car-making game section and they make their own car and he helps her figure out how to drive it (note: I'd normally bitch about someone learning to drive super fast, but it's a video game about driving). But then King Candy, ruler of the game, gives Ralph his medal and tells him he needs to stop Vanellope from racing. If she wins and becomes a chooseable avatar and she glitches during play, people will think the game is busted and they will be turned off. While regular characters can exit a game and hide out in Grand Central if they have to (a la Q-Bert), glitches can't leave their games, so Vanellope would die. And you don't want that, do you, Ralph? Especially since she's a mistake and wasn't supposed to be in the game anyway. He does not want her dead.... So much to his sadness, he wrecks her car and then goes back to his game.
However, while Ralph was out during the day, it meant that the game didn't work properly without Felix having stuff to fix. The game is declared to be broken and is at risk for being taken away. Q-Bert comes to tell Felix where Ralph went, and Ralph leaves the game to find him. The Nicelanders evacuate, except for grumpy Carl, who bad mouths Ralph when he returns with his medal. Ralph chucks his medal in disgust at the screen, which knocks the sign on it down some and he looks across at Sugar Rush...which has Vanellope's picture on it prominently. HMMMMM, so she's not a mistake then? Nope.
Felix enters Hero's Duty and falls madly in love at first sight with Sergant Calhoun, the tall, hot, smart, and cranky lady in that game. She tells him that since Ralph left the game with the bug--which is basically a virus that only shuts off when a beacon goes off in their game--it will probably hatch and eat Sugar Rush, followed by infecting the entire arcade. They take off into Sugar Rush to look for him, and fall in love AWWWWWWWW (seriously, it works and it's cute). Though at one point she freaks out due to her tragic backstory of her fiance being eaten by a bug on their wedding day and abandons Felix when she freaks out about him calling her a "dynamite gal." Felix and Vanellope end up in the "fungeon" thanks to King Candy. Amusingly enough, Felix and his hammer can't break out of prison, causing him to be totally freaked and whine about why must he fix everything he touches. (Also cute: the scene where he and Calhoun end up in NeslieQuikSand and have to make the LaffyTaffy laugh enough to grab a rope and get out. Turns out they think her slapping him is hilarious, and he fixes himself with a hammer in between However, while Ralph was out during the day, it meant that the game didn't work properly without Felix having stuff to fix. The game is declared to be broken and is at risk for being taken away. Q-Bert comes to tell Felix where Ralph went, and Ralph leaves the game to find him. The Nicelanders evacuate, except for grumpy Carl, who bad mouths Ralph when he returns with his medal. Ralph chucks his medal in disgust at the screen, which knocks the sign on it down some and he looks across at Sugar Rush...which has Vanellope's picture on it prominently. HMMMMM, so she's not a mistake then? Nope.
Ralph goes back to Sugar Rush and tortures the Sour Bill ball by putting him in his mouth until the ball tells him that King Candy messed with everyone's memories and Vanellope's code to cause the glitch. If she can cross the finish line in game, it will reboot the game and wipe out whatever King Candy did. So Ralph wrecks the fungeon, yay, and has Felix fix the car. The race is on, and Vanellope gets attacked by King Candy during the game. Her glitching spreads enough to him to reveal that he's...secretly Turbo and took over the game! Vanellope figures out that she can direct her glitches to get her doing short-distance teleporting to get away from him, and she almost wins before well, the Cy-Bugs take over the game. Everyone's evacuating, but Vanellope can't leave, so Ralph plans to sacrifice himself to start up a Mentos-Coke exploding tower to operate as a beacon to get the Cy-Bugs to quit it. A bug eats Candy/Turbo and he's briefly a creature a la the spider-thing Loveless was in "Wild Wild West" until he too gets attracted to the light, and killed. Vanellope glitches herself to save Ralph in time. They put Vanellope back at the finish line, she crosses it, the game reboots...and we find out that originally in the game she was a princess. Everyone remembers who she was now and feels bad about picking on her. At first she claims she'll execute them (Calhoun perks up at this), but nah, she'll just ditch the princesswear and be a president instead.
In the end:
Seriously, this was so good! And so well done! Cameos everywhere, the mystery makes sense, the characters are endearing and fun and awesome to spend time with. I want to see it again!