Well, it finally happened, everyone… Disney has acknowledged for the first time since freaking TRON, that the gamer/nerd crowd exists and is alive and well at that! No longer do couch potatoes have to hide in the trenches while the rest of the world scoffs at them for their potato-like instincts. NO! Tonight, the true revenge of the nerds will prosper! … Okay, so maybe it’s not quite the culture-breaking phenomenon that some were hoping for, but the result of this one may surprise you anyway!
Wreck It Ralph is a film focused around what has easily become one of America’s favorite past times, VIDEO GAMES!!! On top of focusing on the video game world, we also see a large number of cameos from characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Bowser from Super Mario, Zangief and M. Bison from Street Fighter II, Q’Bert, Pac-Man, etc.. If you haven’t already creamed yourself after reading that last sentence, then you are probably not a geek, and that’s okay (or at least that’s what I’m going to tell you so you don’t feel bad about your miserable existence… hey, who turned this thing on!!!? >_>). After my game comes out, they'll regret not having asked me to come in there too. I'd have partied with Zangief like you bitches wouldn't believe!
So what kind of plot can a film involving video games consist of? The one I’m about to describe; how about that!? Ralph is the villain in his own video game (called Fix-It Felix Jr.), similar to that of Donkey Kong. He pounds and wrecks a giant building, which the player has to climb up as Felix, once again, suspiciously like Donkey Kong…, while fixing the broken windows and such to get more points. Once Felix reaches the top, he knocks Ralph off of the building, one more time, pretty obviously similar once again to…, oh, you get the idea you crazy sleuth, you! So Ralph starts getting a little tired of this villain set-up. Every day, it’s the same thing, getting knocked off that damn building, and having to return to his large mound of dirt since the other characters in the game all reject him out like they have some kind of freakish Quasimodo complex (even though THEY’RE the ones with the crappy pixilation going on!). He just wanted a piece of cake, you bastards! You deserve the crap that’s coming to you!
Instead of simply pounding the living binary out of them (which I admittedly would have done!), Ralph decides to go game-hopping to get a “medal” in another game, so he can show the other characters in his game how great he is, and finally get a piece of that damn cake, which better be good after all this. I’d hate to see the cake end up being a lie. I can only take that kind of trauma once in my life! (Haha, that was another gaming reference for all you “normies” out there! Lose a life you active, worldly, productive jerks!) But seriously, the plot here has kind of a “Toy Story” mojo going on here. The game characters come out of their games when the kids leave, just like how the toys move from their positions once Andy leaves the room, and then you’ve got the Mr. Potato Head asshole character that shuns the main character away disturbingly harder than anyone else, while you wonder how he sleeps at night in the process, etc.
The plot gets a little nutty from that point on, without going into too many details. Ralph enters a game called “Hero’s Duty” next. This scene is going to be the fan-favorite for many boys/men in the audience, as this game is a parody of pretty much every popular first-person shooter out there right now. “Hardcore” fans of that dubstep bandwagon will be happy to know your god (Skrillex) is in this movie, not only in the soundtrack, but actually in a scene of the film for a brief second or two! Why!? I have no idea, but I guess that’s cool!??? (wub wub wub)
In his journeys, Ralph also enters a game called Sugar Rush, a Mario Kart-esque cart racer game, complete with power ups, speed ramps, and all that other good stuff that Japan trained us to like for the last 30 years. Also in this world is the character Vanellope von Schweetz, played by the relatively hot, but “why does she have to keep talking” personality of Sarah Silverman. At first I thought she was just an annoying little girl… and unfortunately, I was right about that, but there was an interesting twist involving her avatar. See, Vanellope is a glitch in her game. Whenever she moves too frantically, or starts shouting, she’ll start buzzing and blinking just like the worst kinds of glitches you can recall. This also makes her an outcast among her own peers (think Bratz dolls, but bitchier if that’s even possible!). The most fascinating thing about this glitchy business is that the writers of the movie had to go into more detail about game programming in order to not only explain Vanellope’s predicament, but the idea behind how video games work in general. HA, take THAT, kids! A strategically-placed plug about the basic mentality of programming! Get it? Plug? Gaming???? Aaaaaaaaaaah. ^_^
Without going into too many more plot details, I think it’s safe to say the story kind of falls apart about halfway through. This is not to discredit the movie, but to rather point out that they tried to create so much set up here, that there was no way they could possibly have resolved it all in the length of time that a children’s movie consists of. It was one hell of an effort though, and honestly, the movie is so much fun that you’re probably not even going to care (unless you’re the type of critic that compares every film ever made to Citizen Kane, in which case, you have issues to which even I cannot compare. Well done!).
The last thing to talk about here is the soundtrack. It’s actually quite fitting and great for the set up of this movie. You have synthpop/electronica/dance heaven with Owl City, J-Pop with AKB48, dubstep with Skrillex, acoustics with Buckner & Garcia, and even some standard pop with Rhianna. Regardless of your tastes, I think you’ll find this compliments the tone of the film very well. The rest of the soundtrack is a nice mix of orchestral with 8-bit and 16-bit sound effects thrown in for good measure.
So to sum it all up: Is this movie going to change the way normal people look at the basement-dwellers of the world? Of course not you foolishly foolish fool. But it is a very fun romp in the world of video games, and easily the best animated film I’ve seen all year. Bring your kids, your cousin, the dog; I don’t care. It’ll be a fun ride for everyone, regardless of whether you get the “Konami Code” reference in the film or not. This movie also has one of the best credits and after-credits scenes I’ve ever seen in a film (if you’re a gamer that is). So stop reading all my pointless drivel (that I love you all for reading) and go see this film already!
9 Pac-Man Cherries Out Of 10
More important than anything; arcades have becoming a dying art form in the United States, and that’s just horrifyingly sad. If this movie somehow helps spark a surge of demand to bring those back here, I’d be happier than a 12 year old beating Halo on the Legendary difficulty. Make it happen! Remember kids, Deadpool says: Only you can prevent mediocre shopping mall attractions! Goodnight all. DP, OUT!