‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is Visually Appealing but Falters at Times

Bradley Hare

The original Wreck-It-Ralph, released in 2012, was widely regarded as a fantastic movie to many, myself included. It was praised for its unique story and setting, and for being able to stand on its own two feet without relying on video game references that many people have feared when they first heard the premise. It left fans happy without a need for a sequel. However, on Nov. 21, 2018, Disney gave to the world a sequel to this film, titled “Ralph Breaks The Internet.”

The premise of the film is that Vanellope’s game, “Sugar Rush,” is being shut down due to a broken steering wheel on her arcade cabinet, so Ralph decides to go to the Internet with her in hopes of finding this steering wheel on EBay.

The first thing that is incredibly obvious is just how visually pleasing everything is, just like in the original movie. The Internet is bright, big and vast with little details bursting at the seam in every corner. Simply watching this movie twice would still leave you missing some creative details. Even the new grimdark game the characters go to, Slaughter Race, is impressive with all the cracks in the damaged buildings. The animation is also as grand as always, with character movement being smooth and pleasing to the eye. There is also a giant creature at the end which is amazingly detailed.

The intro is also nice as well. It sets up the problem for the first act of the film with Vanellope and the rest of the residents in “Sugar Rush” being homeless and that the other residents have to be adopted. The beginning also gives us a potential B plot with Felix and Calhoun, now married for six years, spicing up their love life by adopting all the other Sugar Rush racers.

It also makes clear that Vanellope is getting bored with her life of being a racer in Sugar Rush and wants something new, while Ralph is okay living the same life over and over again, because he’s with her, constantly bringing up the hero medal she made for him during the first movie.

The writing is another good part of the film, including the moral that is learned at the end of the film, and Vanellope’s song, which is way more hilarious than it had any right to be.

However, it falters during the middle which is more or less Ralph and Vanellope jumping around place to place in such a short time. First they go to EBay to win the steering wheel, then they have to go to some job center where they can steal items from other games for real money to pay for the steering wheel, then they go to Slaughter Race, then they have to head off to Buzzztube, (yes, with 3 z’s). Then Vanellope goes off to a Disney website called Oh My Disney, while Ralph stays behind making viral videos, which is something that will make you want to look away due to how awkward and inane they are.

On one hand, these areas are all neatly detailed with their own unique characters, like the humanoid pop-up ad J.P. Spamley who is just doing his job, the cool racer that gives Vanellope a run for her money, Shanks, Yesss, (yes, with 3 s’s) a business leader who knows what and when everything is trending, and all the Disney Princesses. On the other hand, this film feels more rushed than the first one, and not really that well developed.

The subplot is only brought up at the very start and the very end, and considering how many people loved this couple within the first movie, this was very jarring. Also, If you’re genre savvy, the first thought that popped into your mind when hearing Ralph boast about being Vanellope’s friend is what happens, and it’s done in such a way that makes both Ralph and Vanellope a bit unlikeable. However, this does lead to the unique and fascinating moral that I don’t recall being done before, so it does balance out ever so slightly.

Overall, there are plenty of things to compliment and scold about the film. It is visually impressive and really does have some humorous and even profound things to say. However, it also does have some pacing issues near the middle, the references it makes during the viral videos portion can make you wince in pain, the lack of Felix and Calhoun is disheartening, and the writing of the lead characters can be annoying and downright dumb at times. If you still want to take a look at it, than go ahead; there is no malicious viruses attached to this.

Overall Ranking: 7/10