For the life of me I cannot get the title of this movie right. I’m so used to Wreck-It Ralph wrecking stuff, not breaking it. So I’m trying to adjust to this relatively small change, but it’s been tough, and that must mean I’m getting old.
In related news, my knee started hurting this week for no reason at all. Granted, it worked out just fine because I used my knee pain as a convenient excuse to stop cleaning the kitchen and start playing Red Dead Redemption 2, but still. Making me feel even older is that I just learned it has been six full years since Wreck-It Ralph was released and I never would have guessed it had been so long.
Just like in the real world, six years have passed for Ralph (John C. Reilly), Princess Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and the rest of the gaming gang, who have all settled into comfortable routines inside Litwak’s Family Fun Center & Arcade. Sure, the routine may be a little boring, but Ralph is happy with his predictable days and nights, wrecking (sorry, breaking) Fix-It Felix’s building by day, and hanging out with Vanellope at night. Vanellope, on the other hand, feels trapped by her routine, having mastered the three available race tracks in her game. When Ralph tries to alleviate Vanellope’s boredom by building a new track, things get both wrecked and broken, and Ralph and Vanellope are forced to explore the arcade’s newly-installed internet in search of a new steering wheel for Vanellope’s game.
Of all the things in the world besides my knee (which is feeling much better, thanks for asking, though if Jay asks tell her I need a few more days off to fully recover), there is probably nothing that makes me feel older than not knowing any of the memes that have come out in the last decade, except for the select few that Jay has taught me about after realizing I had no idea that (insert hilarious meme) was a thing. And, as you may have guessed, there are a lot of memes referenced in Ralph Breaks the Internet. The nice thing is, I felt like Ralph (with some minor help from the creative team) went out of his way to ensure I didn’t feel old for not knowing that (bee puns) were a thing. Ralph simply made me laugh at his bee pun, and at all of his attempts to help Vanellope get her new steering wheel.
Ralph’s antics would have made for a decent sequel just on their own, but Ralph wasn’t alone. Every one of the supporting players in Ralph Breaks the Internet make their own contribution to the comedy. I was particularly impressed at how the Disney princesses were incorporated, not (just) as a shameless product placement but as a way to teach Vanellope about her hidden princess talents.
The only criticism I might make is that the movie probably included a few too many characters and references, and ends up a bit long as a result. But don’t ask me what I would have cut out, because everything that’s here is consistently good and often great. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a very clever and accessible comedy that will provide plenty of laughs for everyone, regardless of age and regardless of whether you’ve ever heard of a screaming goat. What a wonderfully comforting thing that is (the accessible comedy, not the goat’s screams). It made me feel young again, a feeling that should last until my next random ache. Meaning I may need to see this one again very soon.