The first movie I went to see after the Academy Award nominations were announced was Ralph Breaks the Internet, a possible pick for Best Animated Feature. It is the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, which I saw with a room full of kids, which definitely helped define the experience.
Whereas my daughter and I saw RBTI at the Regal Theater in Colonie Center on a Thursday afternoon, and there was no one else there. A couple people slipped in late to make out in the back and left well before it was over.
Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) have a nice, predictable existence: work by day in their respective games at the arcade, and hang out as best friends after hours.
But an incident puts Vanellope’s race car game, Sugar Rush, in peril. The friends enter the word of the Internet, which is as overwhelming as really it sometimes is. With some help of KnowItAll (Alan Tudyk) they navigate a dizzying array of options to find what they need on eBay. But how to pay for it?
Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) is the head algorithm of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube” and her segments speak to the cultural phenomena that pop up nearly daily, as well as some of the downsides.
Is Ralph Breaks the Internet an advertisement of the fact that Disney owns everything? The princesses, most or all voiced by the original performers, I liked a lot. The movie has fun with their various personas. 3CPO (Anthony Daniels), is on only briefly. And speaking of brief, you see the late Stan Lee for about two seconds.
Shank (Gal Gadot) is from the online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a far cry from Sugar Rush. She has a cadre of assistants, but she’s the great character on her own.
There’s one scene that was pure King Kong. Ultimately, the movie was about how friendships evolve. Part of me that thought the movie was overstuffed with in-jokes and another that says that’s fine because one can catch more of them on repeated viewing.
If you get to the VERY end, you’ll see the previews from FROZEN 2; hey, I laughed.
Bottom line is that my daughter, who doesn’t always convey her feelings at the cinema, told my wife (not me) that she really liked the film. I thought it was good, not great, though I know I would have enjoyed it more if I could have gauged audience reaction.