Let’s talk about Ralph Breaks The Internet.
This is probably the most anticipated Disney sequel apart from The Incredibles 2, which I’ve still not seen yet for some reason. Yes I know that Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 are on the cards but let’s face it, if neither of them ended up coming out it wouldn’t be a major loss. But people have demanding a sequel for Wreck-It Ralph since it came out and I’m not surprised. It was a very fun movie with a wide world ready to be explored. But can it live up to the hype?
While video games are still talked abotut in the movie, that’s no longer the focus. Now it’s the internet as you may have guessed from the title. In the real world, the wheel on Vanellope’s arcade machine breaks, risking her machine being turned off. So Ralph and Vanellope head to the recently installed internet to go to eBay and buy the wheel.
And yeah, let’s just discuss that last point. Ebay is not just a thing in this movie, but a critical plot element. It’s the same for Pinterest, Google and several other famous internet websites. And if I’m honest, it’s all just product placement. They do make jokes about many of these brands but it doesn’t really dwarf the fact these massive logos are present for the majority of the movie. So in big scenes, you’ll see some brand in the background which reminds you that it exists and you might have to Google signing up afterwards. Then you see Google. To be honest, it’s as bad as The Emoji Movie as they are both doing the same thing, advertising brands.
Now you may ask what’s the difference between advertising eBay compared to having video games being mentioned. But none of these brands are characters, they are often just buildings in the background. In the first movie, it never had video game logos in the background reminding you that the new game was out in a month’s time. The video game characters just existed in the world and part of the general mocking of that art form. And the games that were a key part of the story were the movie’s own creation, those being Fix-It Felix and Sugar Rush. They were not advertisements as they basically are here.
But what about the actual movie? Well it’s still very fun. They do take aim at easy targets in the internet, things such as pop-up ads, autocomplete and the nature of viral videos, but they do them in creative ways. The pop-up ads are shady salesman on the streets and autocomplete is a nerdy librarian bloke who is rather enthusiastic at guessing what you about to say. And as someone who regularly watches YouTube and sees some of the questionable decisions they make on monetisation, the jokes about that did hit home. But while they are funny, it doesn’t hit as much as the video game stuff. I think that’s because people truly love video games and so the humour of it felt quite special. There is also the case that not many had made jokes about video games before because many still think it’s a niche interest while loads of people had made jokes about the internet.
But there’s some nice character stuff in here. Instead of resetting the movie, which too many animated sequels do, we see the friendship between Ralph and Vanellope develop. And in the end, a nice and fairly original message is told. With movies that are aimed primarily at kids, I love film that come up with different but important messages. There are lots of great movies which tell you to be a good person so why do that all again? Here, the movie gives us a unique message on friendship and something that I think will resonate with a lot of kids. Heck, I think it will hit home with the secondary audiene of young adults, especially those who are or have friends that have gone off to university.
I think that Ralph Breaks The Internet. I don’t think it is anywhere close to the quality of the original, that movie was such a breath of fresh air that it would have been tough to match. A lot of that is down to self-inflicted issues such as deciding to go into the internet, something that has been joked about a lot and doesn’t attract the same sort of love that video games do which is what lent the original so much prody credibility. It’s still fun, a great script and nice message will do that, but I am a bit disappointed.