In its favor, Wreck-It Ralph is colorful and harmless. It’s also harmless and colorful. That just about covers it — unless you’re pretty young and in need of yet another life lesson about being yourself. I’m guessing that there might be more percentage in it if you play — or played — video games. My fleeting exposure to Pac-Man, Tetris (Gameboy only), Sonic the Hedgehog and some Mac game called Apeiron (to which I was briefly addicted) does not qualify me to speak to this matter, nor to any in-jokes on the topic. (I pause now to let those so inclined complain that I am not qualified to review a movie such as this. I assure everyone my role here is not by choice.) I did get — and enjoyed — the Oreo cookie/Wizard of Oz gag, if that’s any consolation.
The story here is that Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villain in a really dumb game called Fix-it Felix, Jr. There’s an apartment building that Ralph wrecks for no apparent reason, whereupon Felix (TV actor Jack McBrayer) comes along and fixes the damage with his magic hammer. That’s it except the apartment dwellers throw Ralph off the roof. And that might be OK, but when the arcade closes and everyone goes home, all the games have lives of their own and the residents of Fix-It Felix continue to treat Ralph as a villain. Fed up with this — and getting no real comfort from some kind of AA-styled bad-guy help group — Ralph decides to wander into other games in search of a medal — the very thing that will gain him respect in his own game. This not only doesn’t go well, but it leaves Fix-It Felix without a bad guy — putting it out of commision and possibly consigning it to the trash heap.
Most of the film takes place in a game called Sugar Rush, which is kind of like the Candy Land board game with racecars — and on acid. (And I still don’t know what those colorful things are that look like dildoes — ribbed, no less — and festoon the landscape.) This place is ruled by King Candy (Alan Tudyk doing an annoying Ed Wynn impression, but I guess there’s no other kind) who is unaccountably determined to keep Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) from entering the races. Naturally, that’s her big aim in life and…look, you don’t need me to tell you any more of this. If you can’t pretty much figure out where this is going, you’re too young to be reading this review. All in all, Wreck-It Ralph probably won’t do you any harm. But unless you are taking small children to it — or are being paid to watch it — I can’t imagine why you’d feel inclined to find out for yourselves. Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence.
Playing at Carmike 10, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande