Movie review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

The clumsy character and his charming racing friend are backseat

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Raubíř Ralf a internet)
Directed by Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
With (voices) John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O'Neill

The lovable but clumsy old-school videogame character Ralph is back in Ralph Breaks the Internet, a sequel to the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph.

The action takes place six years after the previous film and again has videogame characters living in the powerstrip in an arcade filled with vintage game consoles. Things change, though, when the arcade owner tries to increase business by offering free WiFI.

The addition of the WiFi router to the powerstrip offers a way to the outside cyberworld. As one can extrapolate from the title, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) manages to get himself into the router and off into cyberspace. His best friend, race-car driver Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) tags along.

The main accomplishment of the film is its vision of cyberspace as a futuristic city, with a sometimes helpful man called KnowsMore (Alan Tudyk) representing a search engine giving directions to newcomers as they arrive. KnowsMore has an annoying habit of trying to guess what everyone is going to say, hyperactive autofill.

Ralph and Vanellope do have a quest that drives the plot, but that takes a bit of a backseat to all the appearances of popular internet characters and sites.

The film is made by Walt Disney Animation Studios, and filled with not only characters from Disney properties but also from Pixar, Marvel and other sources.

All of the Disney princesses show up, with all but Snow White voiced by the original actresses. Star Wars in now a Disney property, and both Storm Troopers and C-3PO make cameos.

Pop up ads lure Ralph and Vanellope into some questionable deeds, as they need to make some real money to resolve the plot.

A large part of the film winds up being given over to a violent race game called Slaughter Race, where one of the best drivers is Shank (Gal Gadot). Unfortunately, it winds up being very much like the race scenes that were at the heart of Ready Player One, director Steven Spielberg’s live action film about virtual reality and multi-player games.

But this aside, the race scenes are well-conceived and provide a lot of action to offset some of the slower parts of the plot.

While Vanellope gets caught up in the racing world, Ralph tries to make money with viral videos on Buzzztube, a cross between Buzzfeed and Youtube. An expert on such things is a personified algorithm named Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), who dresses in the latest fads and advises on trends.

This is the part of that gives the film its title, as Ralph makes increasingly demeaning and ridiculous videos, attempting to draw people away from watching cats and dogs so he can break the internet.

The film starts to stray a bit with some talk of the dark net, and the plot goes off in a bit of an unwelcome creepy direction using a particular CGI trick that has been popping up in everything from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms to Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

Aside from some repetitions from other films, though, Ralph Breaks the Internet resolves it plot with lots of good-natured humor. The large cast of popular characters will have something to please everyone. Along with lots of clever one-liners, there are also messages about friendship and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

There is bit of a prank at the end that some older viewers might get if people wait through the credits.

Most copies are dubbed into Czech, but there are original versions as well.

Video on YouTube

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