Highly-awaited sequel is bigger, but definitely not better
I love the first Wreck it Ralph movie. I found the story of a man in the middle of a mid life crisis appealing and honest, as it happens to many, many people. The acting was stellar, with John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman blowing things out of the water. The animation was beautiful, the score was endearing and overall the film was one of the best non-Pixar animation projects to date. “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, the sequel, is the epitome of a okay movie. The story is predictable, the performances are bland for the most part, and the writing is much lesser than the first films.
The story of this film is easily split into two parts. The exposition and building, and the actual story beats. The first half of the film is filled with explanations for everything, showcases of all sorts of different ideas, and building up drama for the second half. The second half is nearly constant reaction to the first half action, with all the drama blowing up in a very visually disturbing way. This would be a good use of the action reaction story development cycle if the first half wasn’t so boring and obviously going to come into effect later.
The characters and voice acting found here, from the mains at least, it is generally super disappointing. Every actor feels like they are just there to collect their paycheck, and the characters feel like they were written in one afternoon by the cousin of the guy who made the first movie. Ralph himself is the biggest character alteration here, as he goes from a lost and confused 30 something looking for purpose to a giant man child who has a creepy attachment to a nine year old.
The lone shining spot in the vocal abyss is Sarah Silverman as Vanellope Von Schweetz. She has a pretty deep role in this movie as Vanellope essentially goes through the same problem Ralph did in the first, and she handles her deep role with finesse and emotion that deserves to be praised.
The animation is fairly impressive, the score is a no-starter, and the writing in this movie is pretty mediocre. Either the joke is bad and no fun at all, or it’s actually kinda funny. This is often what happens in children’s movies, as the writer knows adults will be viewing it as well.
I guess if there was a thing that disappointed me the most about this movie it was that it was clearly marketed for kids. The first movie was one I was able to enjoy as an older human being, and this new one is not. It has far too many jokes directed towards kids, so much so that Ralph himself became one.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.