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| 15 March 2019 | Reply

Directed by Phil Johnstone, Rich Moore
Starring Sarah Silverman, John C Reilly, Gal Gadot
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Underneath all the this-one-goes-up-to-eleven product placement and giddy sugar high colour-and-flashbulb visual-explosiveness that is Ralph Breaks The Internet, is a pretty fun movie with a little something for kids and adults alike.

Picking up right where the first instalment finished six years ago, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) and Ralph (John C Reilly) are working in their arcade games by day, then hanging out at night, but Vanellope is restless and thinks there should be more to their semi-autonomous re-animated lives.

Cue her game, Sugar Rush, breaking its crucial steering wheel and the arcade owner unwilling or unable to shell out for a replacement, and Vanellope’s wish to venture further afield is no longer just a dream.

As she and Ralph travel down a new Wifi port to ‘the internet’, there are a cavalcade of clever jokes adults will understand only too well about everything from internet gambling to advertising popups, autofill, eBay auctions, social media and much more. In a way, Ralph Breaks The Internet is parodying itself with the sixteen-kinds-of-coloured-crazy references to a zillion corporate brands – but that’s a debate for another place and time.

“Geez Louise that place is bonkers,” Vanellope says about the internet at one point, and how right she is.

The attention to detail is stunning – and gives RBTI admirable depth to keep the grown-ups in the frame while the kids are transfixed by all the pretty ADHD flashing lights. The story does get a bit long-winded in the middle as the producers try too hard to cram too many B-jokes in though, and smaller kids in the cinema seemed to lose interest. A bit more judicial editing would have benefitted the film by trimming ten or so minutes from the 1 hour 52 end product.

The very best scene in the film involves Vanellope – technically a princess in her Sugar Rush microcosm – meeting the other Disney princesses backstage (complete with most of the original actresses voicing their characters!). Not only is it neat cross-promotion for Disney, but it is an opportunity for some great banter, and one of the funniest movie comedy scenes of the year when she gets them all into comfy cozzies rather than their elaborate costumes.

Vanellope eventually finds Shank (voiced by Wonder Woman Gal Gadot) in ultra-violent car jacking game Slaughter Race – a kindred spirit with sensational hair – and also finds her own Princess voice in song.

Meanwhile, Ralph’s insecurities result in a virus which leads us to the movie’s title and… well, you’ll just have to watch to see what happens next.

Great, positive messages abound. “First rule of the internet – don’t read the comments.” Believe in yourself and believe in your true friends. Ultimately, that’s what these movies are all about, and Ralph and Vanellope provide a good ride.

Now that their run is pretty much fulfilled, though, don’t the assembled Princesses deserve their own feature? Now THAT could be funny.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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