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?
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.
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.