Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wreck-It Ralph

Lowdown: A video game’s baddie gets sick of his continuous misrepresentation.
What could be a better idea for a children oriented computer animation film than depicting the events taking place inside video games once gaming is over? Or rather, how come we had to wait so long for Wreck-It Ralph, the movie that asks that very question?
Our Ralph (the voice of John C. Reilly) is the monster baddie from a famous video arcade game, Fix-It Felix. As the game has it, Ralph is the baddie that wreaks havoc at a residential tower while the player controlled Felix fixes things up. At the end of a successful level the residents gather up to throw Ralph off the roof.
The problem is, the same residents hate Ralph even when the game is over. While Ralph feels there would not be a game without him, they shun him to the dumpster while they party at their comfy flats. No more, says Ralph; he decides to seek his fortunes elsewhere in an effort to receive recognition for all his hard work.
He does so elsewhere, which in this particular case stands for another arcade machine. In this particular case, a shooter. Only that in his absence Fix-It Felix becomes useless and is threatened with unplugging, which would doom its residents. What will be the fate of the residents of this video game world?
As implied, the beauty of Wreck-It Ralph is in its setting, a setting that makes the most of the material granted to it by the richness of video games (a richness that, to this gamer, can easily surpass that of movies). Throw in references to familiar video games, including some of the arcade era’s top hits, and there is immediate appeal to this child of that era. But there is more to Wreck-It Ralph’s charms.
Seriously, behind Wreck-It Ralph there is this whole idea of doing good through not following the usual path, not doing what others necessarily consider to be good, and not following the path that everyone else seems to tread. While the idea itself may not sound too revolutionary to any thinker, by Hollywood’s standards it is. Particularly by Hollywood’s standards for kids movies, the epitome of conformism.
Then there is that peculiar reason I liked Wreck-It Ralph, a reason I probably share with only a few others: that warrior woman (voiced by Jane Lynch) that Ralph meets at that shooter game he has a go at? The absence of an N7 decal aside, she is Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard from start to finish. With the not so notable exception of hair color, she was obviously made to look like my favourite Shepard – that is, FemShep. No one can ever claim Commander Shepard never made it to the big screen!
It's not just Mass Effect. There are hints at Mario Kart's Rainbow Road level, to name but one example. That is, Wreck-It Ralph clearly points at some favourite gaming moments. Any gamer should be able to find their bit of bliss with Wreck-It Ralph.
Overall: One of the better computer animated movies for children young and old. 4 out of 5 crabs.

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