Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph: A Review of Sorts

My three youngest children went with their uncle Dave and their younger cousins to see "Wreck-It Ralph" on Wednesday and came home praising it and saying how much they loved it. Adam, 16, said I had to go see it and that I would just love it. Ben, 13, said that I would cry at the end. To which Adam said, "Well, that's not saying much; she cries at every movie." (Which is almost true.)They all enjoyed it, including Katie, 10, who said it was hilarious and they told us that the rest of us should go see it in theater for sure. So we did. Kriss and our oldest, Jonah, 17, went tonight. 

The movie begins strong, with the bad guys in a support group meeting, and there are some funny lines and good sight gags. When Ralph leaves his game and begins an adventure, I thought we would see what happened as he moved in and out of lots of games. Unfortunately, Ralph (and the movie) gets stuck in a game called "Sugar Rush" where adorable little girl avatars race around a "Candyland"-esque world. The story stalls badly (no pun intended) and I quickly lost interest. The little girl that Ralph gets entagled with (she steals his medal, he wants it back... yawn...) is cute, but obnoxious and their sometimes potty-humor-laced banter isn't as funny to me as it would be to a 10-12 year old kid. 

Though this film looks like it's targets are kids and their parents, it doesn't fulfill the promise of retro-gamer fun for the adults in the audience. I got bored once the film got stuck in sugar-land. And for a video-gamed theme, the girliness of the candy game was surprising.  

As expected from Disney, the animation is amazing. The visual transitions from people to characters is much more seamless than back in the scary-human "Toy Story" phase of this style of animation. The voice talents are decent, and overall it is mildly entertaining. I think it should have been edited tighter; they could have cut out a good 20 minutes and it would have been much better.

As for the sugar-sweet ending, it did not make me cry. It was predictable and cute, and by then I was just ready to be done. I'm surprised my kids enjoyed it as much as they did-- it was cute, it had some good moments, but I think it was probably made more fun for them because they were there with younger kids. Or maybe I'm just an old Scrooge, like Adam seems to think. He's telling me that I'm the only person who has seen it that didn't love it. Ah well...

It's not a terrible movie, I think it's worth renting. I just wish I hadn't wasted so much money on tickets... we didn't even get to a matinee. That's $24 I regret tonight. 

OH--- And I almost forgot: The short film "Paper Man" that plays before the movie begins? Sweet, beautiful and utterly charming. Very good.

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