Nate watches Ralph Wreck-it

Let’s be honest, this movie is pretty much Shrek combined with Reboot.  Which isn’t bad, both of those things are awesome.  Still, when combined, will the result be awesome or horrid?

Actually… awesome.

Well it’s not entirely Shrek, but it does hit a lot of the same points as that movie.  Whereas Shrek wanted to be alone and went on his quest to be left that way, Ralph is forced to be alone and goes on his quest to change that.  The “annoying side-kick” who becomes the friend is… slightly more annoying for me, but one ends up growing to tolerate her.  At least movie makers have learned that if you have a character that’s annoying, it goes down better with the audience if everyone in the movie also finds that character annoying.  You’ve got to reach really bad lows for this to not work (see: Jar-Jar).  And while Shrek was more about overt, racial prejudice, this movie is more about what one might call “professional prejudice”.  (I say this because once Ralph gets away from where he’s known, nobody else really jumps to conclusions about him.)  In a way, I liked that even more (since almost nobody needs to be told “don’t be racist” nowadays).  Grownups will probably find the message poignant in that there’s no shame in a job well done and maybe we shouldn’t look down on people for their work.  In the end, the day is saved because everyone learns to utilize their talents to the best of their ability; a nice touch.

Of course, while kids are liking all the bright colors and poop jokes, parents will be playing a drinking game of “spot the reference”.  You can even see Pong at one point.

Didn’t see it in 3D but even in 2d it looked gorgeous and so I think it may work pretty well in 3D but only at matinee prices.  It is gorgeous to watch how the animators put a lot of work into having the characters act in manners befitting their games.  And the work they put into a lot of the video game worlds (especially where we spend most of our time: Sugar Rush) shows a lot of love.

Yeah, not a lot of surprises plot wise, but that’s ok.  Except for… one thing about the ending which will be down in the spoiler section.  Otherwise, recommended for everyone who plays video games new and old.

One wonders if they’ll do a video game tie-in to this movie.  The only way they should is to have the 3 original games in this movie come on a bundled disc where you play them straight.  Anything else I can guarantee sucks.

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Spoiler:

One of the things that made the fairly standard plot of How to Train Your Dragon memorable was a ballsy ending.  The hero didn’t walk away unscathed, Hiccup lost something, he was scarred by the experience.

When it was said that the Sugar Rush game would be reset when Venelope crossed the finish line, I thought we might have something really bittersweet happen.  Everything would be r-e-s-e-t.  Including Venelope’s memories, meaning that she would not remember Ralph but in the vaguest sense.  I’m disappointed they didn’t go with this and have an ending where either Ralph much watch his friend from afar, her unaware of who he is, or he would have to keep making trips to Sugar Rush and have them reforge the friendship all over again.  Instead the “game reset” did… nothing, really (gave a dress and memories – because Disney has to have their princess).  It was too much of a cop out that nothing changed and that she got to keep super powers in the process… just felt a bit cheap.  If they had went with the ending they were building towards, this would have been 5 stars easy.

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8 thoughts on “Nate watches Ralph Wreck-it

  1. SPOILERS:

    Much like Source Code, this movie really bugged me with a lot of stuff that was inconsistent or just didn’t make sense…until the big reveal that actually explains all of that. With SC, the issues had to do with the scientists’ explanation of how the machine works compared to what the hero is actually experiencing. At first I thought the movie was just being wildly inconsistent, but then it turns out the scientists are just wrong, and the events of the movie are consistent with the way the machine actually works.

    I knew going in that this movie would take liberties with video game mechanics, but Vanellope being a “glitch” just didn’t make any sense. A glitch is when a feature of the game “misbehaves” so to speak, causing things to happen that shouldn’t. This can cause things like moving through walls, across empty space, or occassionally even the weird teleporting that Vanellope demonstrates. But what they don’t do is create entirely new characters out of thin air, complete with names, models, personalites, and voices. Heck, there’s even room for her on the roster when she finally buys her way into the qualifying race, something she supposedly shouldn’t be able to do, and therefore the game shouldn’t be prepared to handle. Vanellope’s very existence simply isn’t consistent with we normally think of as a glitch, there’s is something very different happening here.

    So for awhile I thought that this was a character who had been dummied out of the game at some point during the design process and her code somehow kept popping up. This kind of thing actually happens a lot in games when programmers are careless about how they “hide” things that aren’t intended to be in the release version. This also turns out to be fairly close to what’s actually happening. Vanellope really is a full-fledged character of the game, with her own backstory and racecar. In fact, she’s arguably the “main” character of the game. But she’s been removed (or rather, disconnected) from the rest of the game code as well as wiped from the memories of the other characters.

    As soon as Ralph saw her picture on the side of the machine, I realized where the rest of the movie was going. And while I did enjoy it, it’s kind of frustrating for the other characters to just sort of ignore these inconsistencies until the plot is ready for them to realize what’s going on. It would be one thing if the characters aren’t familiar with how games work on a technical level, but that’ definitely wasn’t the case here. Everyone in this movie, even the characters from the new game, is fully aware that they are in a game, and understand what that means for them. They way they handled her character just felt kind of lazy. And yes, her getting to keep her glitching powers at the end was stupid and wrong.

    • Partially agree and disagree with you. I also thought Venelope was another “unfinished bit” like the mountain and I didn’t mind the later revelation that she was “hacked”. I originally thought Felix was going to hit her with the hammer to “fix” her.

      But yes, I kept hoping that there would at least be some lines refencing more about her state (she’s missingno!) although some of it could write off as a difference in generations. (a 30 year old game would probably have a different concept of “glitch” than a modern one) Shame the writers didn’t take the opportunity to explain things a bit more.

      I would have approved of a director’s cut of this film.

  2. One more thing:

    I don’t think I realized until I actually saw the movie that the whole thing takes place in a single arcade. All the game worlds are connected, not by the internet, but by a surge protector. That just…irks me. The people who made this do know the difference between the power cord and the ethernet cord, right?

    Also, since when were Sonic and Mario in arcade games? In fact, I’m willing to bet that a lot of characters that showed up in this movie could not possibly be there. I know, that’s a huge nitpick, but still.

      • I could bring up the differences between Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic, but even I’m not that uptight about it. I completely admit that it’s a nitpick…it just bugged me.

        Overall, a good movie, but it’s…how do you say it? The more you know about a topic, the less you can enjoy fiction about it. I liked the story and the characters, just not so much the details. Or the marketing.

  3. In response to your comment about making the video games from the movie actually playable… you just need to go to the Wreck it Ralph Website. They have versions of all three games on there. Granted they aren’t as detailed as a full fledged console game might be but you can play in those worlds a bit.

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