Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Wreck It Ralph

steve harris breaks stuff up and then tries to fix it, retro gaming may be involved (Pacman dying noise)...

They mean Donkey Kong, don’t they? Big ugly sod climbs the sides of buildings and smashes them all to smashy bits. It’s quite Donkey Kong, right? Without the abduction of the hero’s girlfriend which would seem all a bit Somalian Pirate in a pretend young kids video game from the pretend late 80s. Abduction can only happen in the films about video games for older kids. And by aliens in real life. I couldn’t sit down for a month.

I now have PacMan noises rattling round my head. Which is good cos he’s in this movie. Sort of. The baddy ghosts from PacMan are anyhoo. Or one of them. I’m being unnecessarily pedantic about details.This is such a great idea for a film that it’s surprising that nobody has quite thought of it before. The only real predecessor is Tron and Tron is nothing like this once you get over the video game and ancient arcade thing.

Ralph, Wreck-It Ralph, is the bad guy in Fix-It Felix Jr.’s game. Ralph wrecks everything to fuck; Felix comes and fixes it. The game has been around for decades but kids still play it even though the arcade has seen other games come and go across the years. Ralph is fed up with being the bad guy. He goes to Bad Guys Anonymous (or similar) which is a splendid parody of AA meetings, a reference kids won’t get but their parents will. The message there is to embrace being a bad guy in a still popular game. Eat my ass, says Ralph.

He doesn’t actually say that. But I bet he thinks it. And he ‘goes Turbo’ by heading off into other games, hoping to win a medal so that he can buy a penthouse apartment in his own game world and feel more accepted by Felix and his fawning chums. We don’t know what ‘going Turbo’ means yet but it gets mentioned a few times to alert the viewer that it’s probably something quite important.

A jizz-ride of craziness occurs when Ralph manages to grab himself a shiny medal in Hero’s Doody, er Duty. Wonder what that’s based on with its military kill, rampage, murder, huge weapons and I don’t mean penises vibe? Also alien nasties which are literally viruses that can eat a game’s code and bugger it all to deadness. Ralph ends up in Gaylord Candy Driving Game land. It might be called something else but it’s clear it’s a stupid primary-coloured game for stupid Ritalin-addicted kids. But he meets Vanellope, a cutesy little glitch of a character who steals his shiny medal of penthouse promises in order to race in the after-hours derby which decides who gets to be a playable character the following day.

Ralph and Vanellope reluctantly bond when it becomes clear that the king of Gaylord Candy Driving Game land is a twat. And a liar. And brilliantly voiced by Alan Tudyk. And he’s actually Turbo. Well we find this out later but I’m going to skip to that bit now. Here I go. This me skipping to the bit where the kind of Gaylord Candy Driving Game land is revealed to be none other than Turbo, an old school, shit graphics racing game character who left his own game to infest other people’s games because no one was playing his crappy old game any more. Which is what everyone means when they say ‘going Turbo’. Got it?

Unmasking the king as Turbo isn’t enough. The aliens from Call of Doody have infested Gaylord Candy Driving Game land and are going to KILL EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE TO PIECES. But they don’t. Ralph and Vanellope save the day. And we find out that when Turbo reprogrammed the Gaylord Candy Driving Game code he stole Vanellope’s rightful position as Princess and ruler and made out she was just a glitchy little glitch whom everyone should hate and ridicule and throw dogs plop at and punch in the knee and wrap up sick in a ribboned box to give to as a Christmas present. Turbo is such a wanker.

All happy at the end. Except Turbo but a sequel is planned and who knows, he may reprogramme another Gaylord game and cause all manner of mischief for Ralph.

Voices. Sarah Silverman is perfect as Vanellope, so perfect I forgot she is Sarah Silverman, potty-mouthed Saturday Night Live stalwart who I would really like to spend sordid days and nights with until one of us needs to phone for pizza.

And Ralph’s mouth noises are made by John C Reilly who you all know but think you don’t know. Watch any Will Ferrell movie and you usually see Reilly. Better yet, watch The Aviator or Gangs of New York to see his more muscular acting chops. I’ve said chops in relation to acting in a previous review on a now defunct site. So shoot me. Please don’t shoot me. I look terrible when dead. Send me sick in a ribboned box. And Sarah Silverman.

steven harris is adverse to putting his name in capitals because names aren't that important. Also, lower case is sexy. steven writes all sorts of stuff including fiction, poetry, songs, opinion pieces and shopping lists. He does not write on lavatory doors any more. his blog has writing in it and can be located at He lives in Devon with an imaginary cat called Kafka.

Follow him on Twitter as @theplanetharris

Images from IMDB and Disney

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