A phenomena has occurred over the last decade or so - a thirst for more. More content, more knowledge. We now have trailers for trailers because those 60 to 150 seconds of content actually provide thousands of hours of online chatter, YouTube reactions, breakdown videos and more, so much more. Back in the 70s and 80s when sequels were harder to come by, they were actually volumes of a much larger story like ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Indiana Jones’, and not just cash grabs and merchandise sales. Today, we’re making entire cinematic universes and adapting whole book series to the big screen. So when a sequel comes along that’s there simply because they can and not because they should, you simply have to ask - why?
In the world of Litwak’s Arcade, it’s been six years since the events of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’. Ralph (John C. Riley) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) are still best friends, but while Ralph is living the dream doing the same thing day in and day out, Vanellope longs for something more. When Sugar Rush breaks and the replacement part proves to be too expensive for Litwak, the game is scheduled to be unplugged, leaving Vanellope and all the Sugar Rush characters with no home and no purpose. Thanks to the introduction of Wi-Fi to the arcade, the two BFFs venture into the internet to find the much-needed part - but they discover so much more than they could have ever possibly imagined, testing and straining their once-unbreakable friendship.
'RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET' FINAL TRAILER
It might not have occurred to you before, but the internet was actually the perfect next step for Ralph to break... I mean, take. The first instalment had the nostalgia factor - so for a sequel, what better is there than introducing the old school to the new school? However, this flick has arrived years too late (a disadvantage common to animation) and it’s already been done before with everyone’s favourite 2017 flick ‘The Emoji Movie’. Damn it, facetiousness is so had to convey in writing. So Ralph and Vanellope venture through the interweb and once they get there, everything you think is going to happen happens. This movie practically writes itself. Again, not really. This cliché-fest in courtesy of director Phil Johnston (‘Zootopia’) and co-writer Pamela Ribon (‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’). Yes, viral videos are a thing and often banal. The comment section is nasty and for pervs, trolls and assholes. Viruses are still a thing. Pop-up ads are irritating but mostly ignored, and the Google search predictive text can be both amusing and annoying. If you’re going to hold a mirror up to humanity’s online social habits that’s one thing, but to instead just walk along side them pointing, there’s a word for that, it’s duh! There’s also an emoji - it’s the one of the person smacking their own forehead.
No new ground is covered, and it comes off as painfully average.
Look, praise be to the strong female characters, but not so much to the recycled “finding yourself” theme of the first ‘Wreck-It Ralph’. I appreciated the comment on friendships too and I hope kids watching will absorb it for later internal reference, but as a humble adult viewer, honestly, I just wanted to see more Felix (Jack McBrayer) and his dynamite gal Calhoun (Jane Lynch). It was all just too similar to the first film when you boil it all down, but this time in a redundant setting. There are some laughs and the animation is just as great as the first film, but no new ground is covered and it comes off as painfully average... and about 20 minutes too long. Lift your game Disney, you’re better than this.