, Newburyport, MA


November 2, 2012

'Wreck-It Ralph' a blur of cutesy characters

“Wreck-It Ralph” is a movie that begins with a plentitude of promise. Like an arcade game to pass the time, you pop your quarters into its formulaic machine and have a bit of a blast for a while. But when it’s game over and the movie asks you if you wish to continue, don’t be surprised if you end up saving your coins for another experience.

“Wreck-It” tells the story of titular villain Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), the bad guy of an arcade video game called “Fix-it Felix Jr.” Ralph’s job is to savagely wreck the windows of a building while climbing to the roof, only to have his messes fixed by the game’s hero Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer) and eventually be thrown off the roof by the townspeople—day in and day out.

So it’s a tough world out there for a video game bad guy, and “Wreck-It Ralph” begins its inspired premise with just this idea — placing Ralph in a hilarious villain support group with Bowser and a ghost from Pacman, among other notable baddies. Ralph, exhausted of his sinister responsibilities and wishing to find something more in his pixelated life, abandons his game in search of a medal, something to turn him into a hero that everybody loves.

I was ready to follow “Wreck-It Ralph” through most of its motions, but then it becomes stranded in a narrative funk. After an interesting first act, Ralph spends the rest of the movie occupying the candy-coated world of a racing game called “Sugar Rush,” in which he bonds with a “glitch” named Vaneloppe von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) who helps him discover himself, reveal a conspiracy, and save the day. The story, which begins seeming newly inspired and like something we have never seen before, soon becomes a formula-driven adventure tale we’ve all seen before.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Special Features