Movie review: Wreck-It Ralph (2013)

I was unsure what to expect when sitting down to watch Wreck-It Ralph, a movie set entirely in the world of the video game, however I was more than pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a fun, exciting and action packed movie.

Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in the arcade game Fix It Felix Jr, and he is deeply unhappy with his job and that people unjustly praise and celebrate the hero of the game, Felix. Feeling unloved, lonely and like no one cares about him, he leaves his video game in search of a medal in hopes of proving that he can be a hero just like Felix. This causes the arcade game to appear broken, and it is labelled ‘out of order’.

Stumbling into the first-person shooter game Hero’s Duty, Ralph manages to battle the hoards of giant bugs and secure himself a medal; however the space ship he is piloting careers out of control and crash lands in the kart-racing game Sugar Rush. Unfortunately in the crash Ralph loses his medal, which is discovered by glitch character Vanellope von Schweetz, who uses it to buy entry into a race. Despite his initial resentment towards Vanellope, Ralph witnesses the other characters shunning her for being a glitch, therefore not an intended part of the game. The pair have to work together in order to make Vanellope a fully integrated character in the game and retrieve Ralphs medal and get him back to his game before it is unplugged for good.

The whole concept of the movie is fantastic and both the animation and voice casting is spot on. John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman lend their voices to Ralph and Vanellope respectively, Jack McBrayer voices the heroic, good natured, 1950’s-kind-of-innocent Felix, and Jane Lynch voices the rough ‘n’ tough, unforgiving lead character of Hero’s Duty: Sergeant Calhoun. The actors could not have been better placed, each suiting their characters individual traits, personalities and programming perfectly.

The animation if first rate, (and upon first viewing the trailer I thought it was a new Pixar movie!) and the way the different characters from different games have been given authentic-to-their-game motion really sells it to you. For example, the characters from Fix It Felix Jr have a jittery, 16-bit arcade game movement, while the Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush characters have very smooth, state of the art movement. While it may seem jarring at first, especially when the characters are all together, you quickly come to accept it as being part of who the character is.

The story may sound childish (well it IS a kids movie!) but I would highly recommend it as it really does have something for everyone: The kids will enjoy the sheer adventure and excitement and silliness of the story, while the adults will enjoy all of that PLUS the chance to reminisce over some of their old favourite characters from such games as Pac-Man, Pong, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter and Super Mario. Whether you’re an old-school Atari gamer or a 21st century Xbox360 buff, this movie is guaranteed to be a winner with everyone!

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