Review: WRECK-IT RALPH (2012) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Review: WRECK-IT RALPH (2012)


In 1995, Pixar had creatively made a memorable story of how toy figures live their life in TOY STORY. Now following from the similar tradition, Walt Disney Animation Studios' WRECK-IT RALPH imagines how video game characters would come to life after an arcade closes its doors. No doubt it's a high-concept premise worth looking forward to. Special kudos to first-time feature director Rich Moore (best known for directing a few episodes of  TV's Futurama and The Simpsons) for gamely exploring his nostalgic love of yesteryears as well as today's arcades generation (fans of video game are going to love this a lot) and brimming its heartwarming tale with a dash of knowing humor and genuine emotion. Not only that, WRECK-IT RALPH is one gorgeous-looking animation with an keen eye for detail, making this a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

"Fix-It Felix Jr." is an old-fashioned, 8-bit arcade game in which handyman Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) must continuously rebuild an apartment building (with his magical hammer) after it gets demolished by the gigantic 9-foot-tall and 600-plus-pound Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly). Once the arcade closes its doors, the characters in the video game clock out like a regular job and return to their own lives. For Felix and his fellow tenants, they always have great time hanging out together. But not for Ralph, who's been an outcast and villain for thirty years already. He lives in the brick pile next to Felix's apartments, and he has grown tired of being treated like a garbage.

One night, Ralph finds out that there's a 30th-anniversary party going on at Felix's apartments and he's not invited at all. He gradually learns the hard truth from Felix's fellow tenants that nobody in the apartment likes him. And so Ralph sets out to prove his worth by earning his own medal from somewhere else and hopes to overcome his programming as a bad guy.

Enter "Hero's Duty", which is a state-of-the-art, post-apocalyptic first-person shooter combat game. Ralph disguises as one of the soldiers and meets the tough Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). Along the way, he manages to prove his bravery to win the game and eventually earns a medal. However, he accidentally steps onto an egg, which unleashes a bug that rapidly multiplies in no time. Apparently those bugs capable to destroy everything and if they are not stopped, the existence of the entire arcade could be wiped out forever.

But all hope is not lost, as Ralph is the only one who can saves the day. When he subsequently ends up in a colorful racing game called "Sugar Rush", he forces to team up with chirpy "Sugar Rush" outcast Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a "glitch" branded by King Candy (Alan Tudyk) who dreams of being a race car driver. They end up helping each other in a bid to win her first race, and at the same time, make things right before it's too late.

First things first. The graphic animation is truly a sight to behold, and every technical departments here are simply amazing. Adding to the zest, is Henry Jackman's dynamic score that often propels the movie into a high gear.

Then there's the remarkable, yet inspiring screenplay by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee. Throughout the movie, you can see both screenwriters and director Rich Moore have certainly puts a lot of love expanding their idea to create a knockout inside world of arcade games. For instance, the characters in the arcade games are able to cross over into other games by way of transportation zooming through the electrical cords. And every access are linked together by a Game Central Station (obviously modeled after Grand Central Station), which serves as a main hub for the game characters. Apart from that, the screenwriters knows very well how to inject enough humor, sentiment and of course, captivating characters all around.

Speaking of captivating characters, WRECK-IT RALPH is certainly blessed with a wonderfully talented voice cast. Each of them deliver their characters with remarkable depth and pathos. As an anti-hero Ralph, John C. Reilly makes a likeable hulk who may be a "bad guy" from other good-guy characters' point-of-view, but he's actually a heartfelt person especially when Vanellope reveals his true self. Sarah Silverman is both adorable and endearing as the little cute racer Vanellope who never gives up to achieve what she wants. I must say, both Reilly and Silverman made a terrific pair together. Jack McBrayer, in the meantime, is lovable as the wholesome Felix, while Jane Lynch gives a knockout performance as the no-nonsense Sergeant Calhoun. Last but not least is Alan Tudyk, who is simply spot-on playing a cunning role as King Candy.

Further praise goes to Walt Disney Pictures for managed to license a healthy number of recognizable game characters throughout the movie, which is especially fun for video gamers. There's Pac-Man and his orange-ghost nemesis, Clyde; M. Bison, Zangief, Ryu and Ken from the "Street Fighter" series; Sonic the Hedgehog, Q-Bert, Bowser from the "Super Mario" series (Mario himself is actually set to cameo as well, but the producer unable to fit him somehow) and even a blink-or-you-miss, cameo appearance from an infamous "exclamation mark" (you know it when you hear the familiar sound) from the "Metal Gear Solid" series.

WRECK-IT RALPH is a top-notch animation that Pixar could have added inside their roster, and certainly earns its reputation as one of the best and most entertaining animated features in a long while.

No comments: