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Wreck-It Ralph

Posted by martinteller on November 3, 2013

Some humor is just reference humor.  Typified by shows I can’t stand like “Family Guy” and “The Big Bang Theory”, it basically consists of “blah blah blah pop culture reference” and that’s supposed to be the big laugh.  As if the mere fact of bringing to mind some thing you recognize is funny in itself.  Wreck-It Ralph isn’t quite that simplistic, but in general I felt like references to things I enjoyed in my youth — videogames like “Tapper” or “Metal Gear Solid” or the famous Konami code — were being tossed out willy-nilly, just for the sake of the adults in the audience to go “heh, yeah I recognize that.”  A few were used cleverly rather than merely shoehorned in, but for the most part it felt like nostalgia abuse.

As for the story of the film, it’s still formulaic children’s fare.  With John Lasseter in the Executive Producer chair, it’s little surprise that the movie feels like a hodge-podge of Pixar movies… a little bit of Toy Story, a little bit of Monsters Inc, and nothing very original despite the videogame setting.  It’s the same journey with the same characters, the same predictable beats.  There are some arbitrary universe rules invented to create the requisite obstacles that build to a somewhat tedious, adrenaline-goosing climax.

Still, there is at least one honestly moving moment, formulaic or no.  And Sarah Silverman’s characterization of Vanellope is undeniably adorable.  I had just hoped for a film that broke the mold a little more, rather than coating it in slightly different colors.  Rating: Fair (65)

IMDb
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2 Responses to “Wreck-It Ralph”

  1. Dan Heaton said

    I’m pretty much with you on this film, Martin. I enjoyed the chaos of the piles of references in the first act, but after a while it needs to have an interesting story. I was invested enough to stay engaged, but it was more of a passive interest. I think this is a decent, but not great film.

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