Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) returns in a grand adventure for modern times. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 has the lovable lug wreaking hilarious havoc on your favorite websites and apps. His digital destruction pokes clever fun at the cyber-addicted. The film also offers a valuable lesson on the boundaries of friendship. Actions taken online have serious consequences in the real world. Ralph Breaks the Internet doesn’t surpass the originality of the first film, but is enormously entertaining in its own right.
Six years after Ralph saved Sugar Rush, life is gloriously predictable at Litwak’s arcade. He plays the bad guy in his game all day, then hangs out with Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) at night drinking root beer. He’s never been happier, but the feeling isn’t mutual for Vanellope. She’s become bored by the racing in Sugar Rush. She’s unlocked every track, beaten all the competition; everything is easy. Ralph decides to surprise her by pounding out a new course. He ends up destroying the steering wheel for the game, which is too old for replacement parts.
As Sugar Rush faces being unplugged, Ralph learns of a mystical place where anything can be bought or traded. The internet is sure to have a new steering wheel. He and Vanellope embark on a quest to save her game. What they find is truly eye-opening. Suddenly the arcade world is too small for Vanellope. Ralph begins to feel left behind by her newfound freedom.
Ralph Breaks the Internet brilliantly satirizes the huge companies that dominate online life. Google, Facebook, Amazon, they’re all here and take sizable ridicule. Every popular internet property gets a moment; including the Disney brands like Marvel and Star Wars. Ralph is swept up in the euphoria of getting likes, or in this case, “hearts”. He thinks he’s adored by the human public, but changes his tune once he reads the ugly comments. The film showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly online.
Vanellope’s search for fulfillment leads to fantastic encounters. Vanellope is a princess, vastly different from the usual mold; but video game royalty nonetheless. A fall out of your chair funny subplot has Vanellope meeting the Disney Princesses. This is worth the price of admission by itself. Screenwriters Pamela Ribon and Phil Johnston, who also co-directed, strike comedy gold with their girl-power theme. I almost had a seizure from laughing so hard. The Disney Princesses need to team up again in their own story.
Ralph Breaks the Internet has somber moments. The CGI characters grow quite a bit emotionally. Ralph and Vanellope have a reckoning about the meaning of friendship. The script digs deep below the surface humor, getting a bit thick at the climax. The film wanes into preachiness. Thankfully it’s short lived.
Ralph Breaks the Internet will be another box office behemoth for Disney Animation. Adults and children alike are going to love this film. I do have one important takeaway after viewing. Cinderella is definitely the princess you want in a knife fight.