Ralph's wrecking ground just got a whole lot bigger. Six years after the events of the first film Ralph and Vanellope venture into the exciting and expansive World Wide Web in search for a Sugar Rush game steering wheel after the original breaks and arcade owner Mr Litwak threatens to unplug the game for good. The set up is very similar to Sony Animation's The Emoji Movie, but after that crashed and burned Disney have scrambled their pixels in hope of a better crack at the inner workings of the internet.
Wreck it Ralph 2, or product placement the movie - perhaps - is gloriously visual if emotionally flat. Ralph and Vanellope return in a witty sequel that is wonderfully relevant in some moments yet completely behind the curve in others. As entertaining as a slapstick Ralph can be, Disney don't take full advantage of the endless possibilities that are laid out in front of them. For a studio that has been hitting home family friendly messages since before coloured TV came into existence, it's disappointing that Ralph hardly begins to surf let alone break the internet.
It's a given to say that the animation is wonderfully spectacular. The film brilliantly combines the modern world with Disney visuals; seeing human interaction with the Web from the "other" side is hilariously creative. Even popular YouTube star Miranda Sings makes a surprise appearance in a blink and you'll miss it moment. It appears that Ralph Breaks the Internet is aiming for quick gags and meta references over a heartfelt story in the same vein as its predecessor. It works to some degree; the film is relentlessly fun but it plays more like a quick sugar rush of excitement rather than a long lasting dose of Disney magic. Ralph and Vanellope delve into various social media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pintrest yet the message is almost always missing. The important themes about the dangers of the internet could have been conveyed in a stronger manner considering the films demographic is those who are most vulnerable to these issues.
Sarah Silverman steals the show as hyperactive glitch Vanellope. The young racer is in constant awe over the internet and that's when the emotions really kicks into gear - through her character Disney comment on how children are so completely engrossed with modern technology. She spends the majority of her time at the ruthless, action packed Slaughter Race - Disney's answer to GTA. Unfortunately Ralph is unbearable in this second outing - for some reason they decided his character arc should be needy best friend who has nothing else better to do. Though he's supposed to be pathetic, Ralph really is like nails on a chalkboard and gives one the most grating performances we've ever seen from a Disney character.
Almost all of the original voices behind the Disney princesses return in the extraordinarily off the wall Oh My Disney sequence. Let's just say if the princesses aren't given their own spin off than the world will truly have gone mad.
Ralph probably should've stayed behind in the arcade for this uncomplicated sequel. Vanellope really gets a chance to shine here but for all the billions of online apps Ralph just doesn't fit into any of them, floundering in self pity the whole film. There's a lot to love - the exciting car chases in Slaughter Race, Vanellope's fantastic anti-princess song and Taraji P. Henson's character Yesss with her electric blue fibre optic coat. Ralph Breaks the Internet is entertaining and intelligent but it takes a safer approach than it really could have.
Ralph Breaks the Internet:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.