Ralph Breaks the Internet

I liked Wreck-It Ralph so much, after a year of bugging my wife to watch it (since she hadn’t seen it), she finally sat down to watch it last month. She shrugged her shoulders saying, “It was okay, but you wouldn’t shut up about how great it was, so I was expecting more.”

I was expecting more from this sequel. In fact, the first laugh didn’t come until 20 minutes into the movie, a joke involving a character running a search engine. Luckily, once the movie gets going, it had a handful of funny scenes to keep it from being a total disaster along the lines of the Emoji Movie (which it will remind you of at times, as well as Ready Player One).

The first movie had the video game characters relegated to staying inside the games. The sequel figures they can come up with a bunch of new jokes having Ralph (John C. Reily) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) journey into the world wide web. The problem is that…a lot of it comes across like product placement for Google, Amazon, Fandango, and countless other companies that probably paid a pretty penny for their involvement. And, it takes a while for some jokes to land. It’s not until the halfway point that we get Vanellope in a cool, more updated racing game that’s a bit of fun. And one scene that will have the entire theatre laughing, is when she visits a bunch of Disney princesses. I could’ve watched an entire movie of that group riffing on their various princess tropes. Later, she’d get to do her own princess song, and it’s hysterical.

The reason they go into the internet, is because Ralph tries to make a new track to please the bored Vanellope, who is sick of the same courses on her Sugar Rush game. Yet the human playing the game has different ideas, and that causes the steering wheel on the machine to break. The arcade owner is reluctant to spend $200 on a replacement, since the game doesn’t even bring in that much in quarters in a year. So they go into the interwebs, to find eBay, and order it themselves.

Gal Gadot has some fun with the “Shank” character in an extremely violent video game. But with her sometimes clever lines (her sidekicks were funnier), it made me wish Jane Lynch was in this a bit more. She was such a blast being snarky in the first one. Although upon reflection, maybe their storyline is a set-up for another sequel. They adopted all the bratty racing girls from Vanellope’s game, so they could have a “real family”.

The premise of this film was good, since what other things from the first movie could’ve possibly made for a sequel? It just lacked heart, and humor.

It ended up having enough in the second half to make it passable. And it gets credit for having the first Stan Lee cameo since his death (even if it’s merely a visual one).

2 ½ stars out of 5.