I consider the first Wreck-it Ralph film to be among the finest animated features of the last ten years. It’s a masterpiece that transcends its genre and is the best of the Disney aught-renaissance (post-2000). With the exception of a few changes in who wrote the screenplay, almost everyone returned for the sequel, including the directors and voice actors. And while this follow-up is funnier than its predecessor, it ultimately falls short in a number of ways compared to the original.
Here’s the brief synopsis:
Ralph and Vanellope embark on an adventure inside the internet to find a spare part to fix a video game.
Every voice from the first one seems to have returned, including the voice of King Candy (Alan Tudyk), though he plays a different character in this one. They also brought in all the Disney Princesses and their original voices (with the exception of Snow White because the actress has unfortunately died) to lend their talents to this story. Of course there are other new voices as well, with the most prolific being Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) who plays a mirror of her character from the Fast and Furious franchise. And all the voices are as amazing as the first one, with the exception Ms. Gadot, who stands out as a bit of a sore thumb. Gadot does very well as Wonder Woman with the right director, yet her voice just doesn’t work in this movie. It’s more distracting than anything.
Just like the first film, this movie is endlessly creative. The original showcased Pixar levels of inventiveness in how they presented the arcade environment and in particular the game Sugar Rush. The storytellers employ their brilliance mostly to the same degree in this one, except they do it when showing the internet and how it would be viewed by game characters. However, much like The Lego Batman Movie last year, I think they pack a little too much into Ralph 2. The audience is constantly bombarded by new creativeness every minute or so and some of it doesn’t necessarily serve the story the same way the little details in the first one did.
In fact, I would say that the busy-ness of this script is its main problem: the original had among the sharpest and most efficient scripts in recent memory, whereas this one just has too much going on. And nowhere is this more evident than in the film’s climax, which is a little weak. The movie also seems a bit divided on what its themes should be. I won’t go into what those are because it would spoil it, but I will say that it seems to shift its metaphor towards the end, which was a tad jarring.
The use of music in this movie is amazing. It uses and builds on the themes of the first movie brilliantly and even includes some surprising greatest hits (hint: listen to the themes when the princesses are on screen).
Although I was a bit harsh in my review, overall I adored this movie and I’m certain that most people will as well. It’s absolutely hilarious and moving and entertaining.
I would say that this movie is a bit too scary for younger viewers. The main game in the film is called ‘Slaughter Race’ and it has a lot of scary stuff in it.