Ralph Breaks The Internet movie review: This Wreck-It Ralph sequel gets more cameos, less tears

Updated on Oct 12, 2020 03:08 PM IST

Ralph Breaks The Internet movie review: This sequel to Disney’s hit Wreck-It Ralph ditches the gaming arcade for the internet but loses the warm, fuzzy feeling that we associate with the first film.

Ralph Breaks The Internet movie review: Ralph and Vanellope cruise through the internet to teach a lesson in friendship.
Ralph Breaks The Internet movie review: Ralph and Vanellope cruise through the internet to teach a lesson in friendship.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Ralph Breaks The Internet
John C Riley, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot
Director: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Rating: 3/5

Movie sequels have a thing for going big -- almost always in scale and rarely ever in heart. Whether it is finding fish or fighting dinosaurs, aquariums are traded in for sea worlds and parks become gargantuan theme parks. However, the hike in production scale is rarely reflected in the story or the motivation behind the new movie. This is the reason why Ralph Breaks The Internet is a film that will be remembered mostly for its glossy animation and attractive cameos, but not its moments.

As Wreck-It Ralph’s much adored characters, best friends Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz, return to the big screen after six years, they are all set to launch into bigger and better things, though not necessarily on a happy note. After an equipment malfunction at Mr Litwick’s gaming arcade, Vanellope’s Sugar Rush has been shut down and the only way to restore it is by finding a replacement for that equipment on eBay. To get their hands on it, Ralph decides to take Vanellope on an adventure throught the internet. They meet a few scamming websites, a cut-throat racing video-game, all the Disney princesses ever, a viral video-making machinery and a deadly virus that threatens to shut down an unrecognisably wholesome, PG-13 version of the internet.

In this version, fit for the target audience of 4-12 year olds, Twitter is where people share cute cat videos, not a place to send death threats to liberals or hold late night presidential rants against immigrants. The dark web is where you sell social security numbers or mothers’ maiden names, not a collection of sites that offer you illegal porn, drugs and all other unimaginably horrible things. This version is highly sanitised for the viewing pleasure and ease of the underage audiences, where the most scandalous thing could be a pop-up about ‘sassy housewives wanting to meet you’ and the rudest is YouTube (BuzzTube) comments calling you ugly and boring. We all know what the YouTube section is capable of in reality.

This is where the confusion pops in, who is this film intended for? The children will surely not understand all of the one million references to pop culture, all the cameos by movie characters or the self-criticism on Disney’s old fairy tales and that is essentially what makes the film fun. Sure, the film at its core is about Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship and their insecurities, but that is not what makes this film enjoyable. For adults, the film is again not a perfect watch for they can see through the sanitation. Watching Baby Groot being cute or the Stormtroopers being bad at their jobs is again quite entertaining but the film ends up feeling shallow without the same heart and motivation as the first part.

Six years ago, Ralph told us how ‘he’s bad but that’s good’ as he saved his new friend’s life. This time round, we learn the importance of letting your friends be their own persons and not suffocating them with your constant need for attention. It’s a good thought, an important thought to teach kids and adults alike but still somehow not as big and beautiful as how ‘it’s not bad if one can never be good’.

Ralph Breaks The Internet is an enjoyable film if you do not mind the constant buzz of ‘yeah, that’s not quite how it is though’ in your ear. It is exciting, brilliantly animated and the scenes with the Disney princesses do steal the show, but it is still not as good as the first one. They rarely are.

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    Soumya Srivastava is Entertainment Editor at Hindustan Times. She writes about movies and TV because what else is there to life anyway.

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