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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman
Jane Lynch
Alan Tudyk
Jack McBrayer.
Directors
Rich Moore.
Screenwriters
Phil Johnston
Jennifer Lee.
Running Time
101 minutes

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Wreck-It Ralph
Game Changer


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Plot
Fed up with playing baddie, videogame villain Wreck-It Ralph (Reilly) quits his retro platformer and jumps through the screens of his arcade home, in search of brave new game worlds and an elusive hero’s medal...


Review
Wreck-It Ralph
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Videogames have been with us for 30 years now, give or take a Pong. For Hollywood, the question of how to port their micro-characters to the big screen has resulted in a surreal struggle. The two seem to get on like trampolines and nunchaku. Anyone who’s ever caught Bob Hoskins in dungarees, Kylie as a kickboxer or Luke Goss in Tekken will know that most adaptations end up novelty concoctions, where bad fan-fiction meets bizarrely cast branding exercise. If you’re looking for thrills, you’ll find more entertainment disassembling an Xbox with a coconut.

Here’s the good news. Wreck-It Ralph, the latest Disney animation, isn’t a movie of a videogame. The movie is a videogame, with videogame jokes, videogame noises, videogame cameos and a blocky, 8-bit videogame villain. Clunking around his retro platformer like Donkey Kong’s missing link, Ralph is not a happy baddie. Cursed with shovel fists and a reverse Midas touch set on auto-demolish, 30 years of lobbing masonry at Fix-It Felix, his in-game nemesis, have turned him into a deluded wreck. As Felix (Jack McBrayer) collects all the credit, Ralph is cast out to a pile of bricks, gripped in a sulky, electro-stential crisis. Even weekly therapy at support group Bad Anon can’t shake him out of it. Eventually he snaps, escapes the cabinet, and smashes around the arcade in search of the impossible: a winner’s medal. Wreck-It Ralph wears the porkchop nose and warm, weary voice of John C. Reilly. He is, of course, instantly lovable.

Director Rich Moore made his name on The Simpsons, and there’s a familiar zap to the in-jokes and sight gags that blitz its opening third. Taking its cue from Toy Story’s clandestine world, when the arcade shuts, the machines come to life — a concept loaded with its own set of rules (never “jump” games, fear the Out Of Order sticker). It also affords Moore the freedom to go on an 8-bit nostalgia trip. In this sense, Wreck-It Ralph is unique among videogame movies — it actually displays a genuine love for its subject, dosed up on a wicked sense of humour. There will be few sights funnier this year than watching Streetfighter’s Ken and Ryu clocking off for a pint — and few sights sadder than seeing Q*Bert unplugged and homeless. While younger heads will flutter at the sparky CG, seasoned gamers are invited to play Spot The Dig Dug among the countless cameos that clutter Game Central Station. It’s an incredibly smart move — a rare family film that speaks to two generations at once. Both will come out satisfied, just one more than the other.

Booted out of a Halo-clone shoot-’em-up, Ralph lands in Sugar Rush, an arcade racer set in pick ’n’ mix terrain — candyfloss clouds, candy-cane forests and Nesquik sand (their production placement pun, not ours). Imagine The Wizard Of Oz in inverted syrup, or, at the very least, a Willy Wonka migraine. It’s here where the plot parks itself and where the energy bar drops into the red.

After all that manic invention and technical dazzle, the film retreats to formula and the relative safety of soft slapstick and mild jeopardy. Disney has been delivering the “be yourself” message since Dumbo. Wreck-It Ralph is no different, bonding Ralph to fellow outcast Vanellope von Schweetz, a glitchy girl-racer with a repertoire of chewy puns. Voiced by Sarah Silverman on Helium Force 9, there’s no doubt kids will feel galvanised by her journey from brat to princess. Adults may feel less persuaded, but do get offered sanctuary in a ridiculous romance between Felix Jr. and Jane Lynch’s dominatrix Marine.

Happily, the movie recharges for a hectic final act, hurling you into a Mario Kart racer as the 3D merrily lobs gobstoppers at your head. In a wonderfully perverse touch, Moore also has a crack at recreating Starship Troopers through the medium of cupcakes. It’s dazzling, inventive, thrilling stuff. Whether Disney’s 52nd feature is just too contemporary to become a Mouse House perennial is open to question — maybe they can upgrade it once a decade? — but for the time being, go, have fun and laugh your @!#?@! off. As Q*Bert might say.


Verdict
A Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the joystick generation that, despite a mid-act dip into generic Disney territory, high-scores on laughs, invention and 8-bit affection.


Reviewed by Simon Crook

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Wreck-It Ralph
Empire Star Rating

WRECKED...

(NOTE TO THE DIRECTOR; BLATANT PRODUCT PLACEMENT IS NO SUBSITUTE FOR DECENT COMEDY…….. – Oreos???? Are you serious?????? ). Always had the feeling that the producers were desperately trying to create another Toy Story franchise as I watched this and ultimately I came away with a case of bland indifference. It’s all beautifully animated of course and there are some clever in jokes – (Fix it Felix was my favourite character). But when the standard Disney mush starts ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:48, 01 August 2013 | Report This Post


WRECKED...

(NOTE TO THE DIRECTOR; BLATANT PRODUCT PLACEMENT IS NO SUBSITUTE FOR DECENT COMEDY…….. – Oreos???? Are you serious?????? ). Always had the feeling that the producers were desperately trying to create another Toy Story franchise as I watched this and ultimately I came away with a case of bland indifference. It’s all beautifully animated of course and there are some clever in jokes – (Fix it Felix was my favourite character). But when the standard Disney mush starts ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:48, 01 August 2013 | Report This Post


Wish it was Pixar...

At first glance this would appear, as some reviews have sighted, the new Toy Story (1995). Maybe it is, but I just didn’t feel it. I’m old enough to remember these 8-bit games and even though Fix It Felix, Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush are all fictitious, they’re all rooted in the reality of the industry, with their real life counterparts being Donkey Kong, Call Of Duty and Super Mario Cart. The plot is basically that of any Disney film and this is kind of where it fails ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by neopol at 15:53, 05 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START”rowing-up in the 80′s was a magical time: Gremlins, Garbage Pail Kids, big hair, Michael Bolton, Hulk Hogan, Glo-Worms… all the cool shit that served to transform your average wide-eyed tyke into the big-balled sexual Tyrannosaurus that can now be found stalking the Action movie section of your nearest Blockbuster. Of course the true hunting ground for callipygian supermen of the 80′s was the local video game arcade. The arca... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by YouSeenThat.com at 02:25, 22 February 2013 | Report This Post


GAMING FUN FOR EVERYONE!!!

Thoroughly enjoyable Disney animation pic!!! The story centers around Ralph a hammer fisted 'baddie' of an arcade game of the same name. However Ralph is fed up of being a bad guy and desparately want's to win a medal. The thing is in the games world only good guys can get those,..;) So starts a cool romp through our beloved and well known gaming universe,..everthing from 8 bit classic games like Pacman to Sonic, Donkey kong and current Xbox 360 titles like Halo are all given an affec... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ramone87 at 22:20, 15 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Great!

When Litwak’s Arcade closes at night, the various video game characters leave their normal in-game roles and are free to travel to other games. Within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., the characters celebrate its titular hero but shun the game’s villain character, Wreck-It Ralph, who wants to stop being the bad guy but is told he has to earn a medal before he can be part of the group. When a modern, first-person shooter game called Hero’s Duty arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun,... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 19:38, 15 February 2013 | Report This Post


Great!

Loved it, great fun. AMAZING animation. Doesn't come close to the classic levels set by Monsters Inc. and Toy Story, but better than most of the other dross we've seen in the past few years. Also, this (Empire's) is an excellent review. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 20:25, 14 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

L: Phubbs L: Vitamin F Unbelievably unfunny. Honestly, this is shockingly unfunny for an animated kids film. There are loads of game references but they're not funny game references, and the very young probably won't get a lot of them! In fact most of the film seems to have blurred some boundary between film and videogame cut-scene, not a good direction. I chuckled 4 times during this. Only 4. That's bad. don't really think its suppose to be an animated comedy. ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 22:13, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

L: Vitamin F Unbelievably unfunny. Honestly, this is shockingly unfunny for an animated kids film. There are loads of game references but they're not funny game references, and the very young probably won't get a lot of them! In fact most of the film seems to have blurred some boundary between film and videogame cut-scene, not a good direction. I chuckled 4 times during this. Only 4. That's bad. don't really think its suppose to be an animated comedy. ... More

Posted by Phubbs at 13:23, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

Enjoyable fun. I do agree that 'mature' folks will get more from a lot of the cameos in the background. Personally I loved the Flash Gordon Wedding March riff most. Must be my age....... ... More

Posted by UncleMonkeyTrousers at 13:08, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

Unbelievably unfunny. Honestly, this is shockingly unfunny for an animated kids film. There are loads of game references but they're not funny game references, and the very young probably won't get a lot of them! In fact most of the film seems to have blurred some boundary between film and videogame cut-scene, not a good direction. I chuckled 4 times during this. Only 4. That's bad. ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 09:35, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

L: spamandham Run of the mill kids film ruined by annoying little shit whats-her-face penelope pitstop. Not enough computer game references for a film trying to be an homage to them. She was a tad annoying yes and I did REALLY wanna see more videogame characters and worlds in there as I say in my review, but its still a great fun film. It would have been so cool to have 'Mariokart' instead of 'Sugar Rush'. ... More

Posted by Phubbs at 23:56, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

I know it's only February, but this is the most fun I've had at the cinema all year. "Or-ee-oh, Oree-OH-oh!" ... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 23:06, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

Run of the mill kids film ruined by annoying little shit whats-her-face penelope pitstop. Not enough computer game references for a film trying to be an homage to them. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spamandham at 22:54, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph (2012) Now call me ageist but I firmly believe if you were born around 1980 then you will really get much more out of this film. I'm not saying that no one else will of course, everyone will enjoy this ride but the pure retrotastic feast on offer here will make certain folk of a certain age grin from ear to ear. I really will try not to use the word 'retro' too much here...ah who am I kidding!. Just to see the poster for this film is glorious, the classically designed 8... More

Posted by Phubbs at 18:51, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Ruined by Disney's arrogance!

L: Timon L: J_BUltimatum Was really enjoying this until about half way through when I started noticing all the Star Wars references they were putting in... completely ruined it for me!!! o... they shoehorned in a load of Star Wars references into a film that's four years in the making to tie-in to their 3-month old acquisition of LucasFilm? OR Are you thinking the 'Sugar Race' is a rip-off of the podrace without realising that it isn't a reference to the likes o... More

Posted by target at 15:50, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Ruined by Disney's arrogance!

L: J_BUltimatum Was really enjoying this until about half way through when I started noticing all the Star Wars references they were putting in... completely ruined it for me!!! o... they shoehorned in a load of Star Wars references into a film that's four years in the making to tie-in to their 3-month old acquisition of LucasFilm? OR Are you thinking the 'Sugar Race' is a rip-off of the podrace without realising that it isn't a reference to the likes of Mario Kart, Donk... More

Posted by Timon at 13:14, 05 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Ruined by Disney's arrogance!

L: J_BUltimatum Was really enjoying this until about half way through when I started noticing all the Star Wars references they were putting in... completely ruined it for me!!! etween this, Warm Bodies and Lincoln - your not having a good time at the cinema the last couple of weeks are you!? ... More

Posted by waltham1979 at 12:18, 05 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Great Film

Great fun and very well written. Saw it with a 5 & 7 year old, both who loved it. To be fair about some of the more intense scenes, it has a PG certificate. **** ... More

Posted by film man aidy at 11:21, 05 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Great Film

L: Dannybohy I agree the Heart pulling was not what I was expecting and I got a little annoyed! but then my idiot father let me watch the Alien Chest busting scene when I was around 7! and I turned out ok!?. ...... ... More

Posted by Timon at 10:24, 05 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Great Film

L: rcrofty7 Very funny and good animated movie me and family loved it. Only thing i felt was seeing as it is for kids, did anyone else think the guy ripping out the zombies heart at the beginning a bit gruesome for a young audience? didn't think my son would enjoy it as most of the retro references and the premise for the movie kind of goes over his head!. He enjoyed it, but not as much as Hotel Transylvania and Monster in Paris. I agree the Heart pulling was not what I was expecti... More

Posted by Dannybohy at 13:16, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post


Bloody boring.

Both me and my little boy nearly fell asleep watching it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CHUFFSTER at 12:21, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post


Great Film

Very funny and good animated movie me and family loved it. Only thing i felt was seeing as it is for kids, did anyone else think the guy ripping out the zombies heart at the beginning a bit gruesome for a young audience? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by rcrofty7 at 00:20, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post


Ruined by Disney's arrogance!

Was really enjoying this until about half way through when I started noticing all the Star Wars references they were putting in... completely ruined it for me!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by J_BUltimatum at 00:19, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post


A great family film, and a fun nostalgia trip for game lovers

Edit - your reviews are welcome here. Please don't add off-site links to advertise your own site.   Here is the full review on my site ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by thearchitect at 15:49, 02 February 2013 | Report This Post


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