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Ralph Breaks the Internet Review

Finally, a film that captures the joys of consuming corporate products. Who’d have thought we would need such a feature? With Herculean strength, a young arcade gamer tears the metallic steering wheel from the welded shackles. This would be my living hell, and I am so glad Ralph Breaks the Internet gives me and you the chance to experience what would happen if the spaceship from Wall-E lived inside your router. Two bumbling idiots go on a quest to save the day, and with no variation between them, they soon blur together as a charmless clump, far removed from what they were in Wreck-It Ralph. A sad downgrade as these protagonists wanders the new world of upgrades and the internet.   

How is Litwak (Ed O’Neil) to unplug a video game from the dangerously over-plugged socket when they aren’t labelled? Horrid. Truly baffling. One of the many, niggling issues found within. There is an odd homelessness angle to the film, where the Sugar Candy arcade machine breaks. Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) set out to find a replacement part for the machine on eBay. Hilarity ensues, and there are reminders around every corner to elicit the same tones and commentary as The Emoji Movie. There is a cute feeling to the animation, but that is no surprise. It looks well enough, but the sleek design of the internet looks lifeless and ineffective. Everything around it all doesn’t look too shabby, though, even if a few inappropriate, awful jokes make it through the many cracks of this deadly poor story.  

There are too many loopholes and plot regressions for Ralph Breaks the Internet to make any sense. Gal Gadot and a group of bandits discuss TED Talks and the value of gaming. From these interactions, among the many between Vanellope and Ralph, nothing of real interest comes. Shank (Gadot) suggests they simply get rich quick on “Buzztube” by creating a viral video to pay the $27,001 needed to pay for an arcade steering wheel. Such a specific price comes from one of many displays of contrived cartoon antics. Ralph constantly confusing “eBay” and calling it “eBoy” is just disturbing, especially for a film catering to a childlike audience.    

Ralph Breaks the Internet coddles the audience, yet confuses them also. Sonic explains what Wi-Fi is. Cameo roles from just about every and any nostalgia-bait video game and film character of the past thirty years. Tim Allen and Vin Diesel give life to their famed roles, but their utilisation is weak and smacks of a project made to reference whatever is popular with whatever generation it is pandering to. How does it make you feel? There is no emotion that Rich Moore and Phil Johnston can bring to the table. While the original was a nice pop at the arcades of old, Ralph Breaks the Internet drags its titular character and company into the dawn of a new age, one that has no need for arcade machines and is instead paving the way for product placements, applications and the dawn of this little thing known as “the internet.” Twenty years too late, but better late than never.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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