I feel so much better about doing these film reviews having had a week’s break from it all. Maybe, I need to come up with a plan to do film reviews every fortnight and some other film related content on the alternate weeks? I don’t know. I never want to reach a point where it feels like doing the things I love starts to feel like work. I’ve started to realise that my self-imposed schedule is really driving my life more than it probably should. I spend so much of my free time writing or watching/reading something to write about. Then there are the photos I take every week. It’s fine in lockdown because what else would I be doing? But, eventually, I’m going to want to start socialising again. Having spent a year forced to stay inside, I’m starting to realise how little I went out before. Although, there’s no need to worry about that yet. The UK isn’t going to be getting out of this mess any time soon so I might as well carry on watching films when I feel like it.
I can’t really remember what I felt when I first watch Wreck It Ralph. It’s one of those mysterous films that I never wrote a review about. I think I was generally in favour of the whole thing but it wasn’t going to be my favourite Disney movie of all time. It was original and I did think there was a lot of clever stuff there. Did I ever rewatch it? I don’t think so. Was I desperate for a sequel? Not really. Was I desperate for a sequel that relied very heavily on social media references and internet personalities? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, Disney decided that it didn’t really need to consult about Wreck It Ralph 2, so they did exactly that.
It’s always going to be dodgy when you rely on jokes, cameos and references from a very specific time. Of course, it will probably help you initially and boost sales. Especially when you give internet personalities brief cameos, I mean they’ll promote the shit out it for their followers. The problem is, you’re just ensuring that it’s not going to age well. Even 2 years later, the world has moved on a fair bit since 2018 and there were some really cringe moments. That’s not to say that I didn’t expect any pop culture references, obviously. The first film included many great references to video games and all Disney properties. It makes sense for the subject matter and there are some really fun moments. I’m not including the scene in which the whole host of Disney princesses come together to save a big strong man for once. That belongs with the Endgame “she’s not alone” moment. Frozen really has made Disney more self-aware but nothing good seems to be coming from it.
However, this isn’t a terrible and unwatchable film. Set 6 years after the first film, Ralph is perfectly satisfied with his life. He wakes up, goes to work and then hangs out with Vanellope in the evenings. Unfortunately, his young friend is craving something new. Life racing inferior drivers around the same tracks just isn’t that appealing anymore. Although, when the Sugar Rush arcade machine breaks, all of the characters find themselves homeless as the game is set to be trashed. Ralph sees another chance to be the hero and decides that he and Vanellope will travel into the internet to track down the necessary part. Of course, neither one if prepared for the world wide web and they soon find themselves in even more trouble. Will they be able to get the part in time?
As a film in its own right, Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fine thing. It’s got plenty of stuff that would entertain kids and some things that older audiences will appreciate it. The message as its heart is all about the nature of friendship and understanding that you don’t always want the same things. It’s not bad but it’s certainly not original. The opening, that sees a whole bunch of game characters without a home or a purpose, quickly descends into something more cliched. Rather than taking any risks, this sequel is more than happy to just to do easiest thing. It’s a formula that has worked for them before and there is nothing about this film that would put people off. It’s just that there’s nothing about it to really excite. It won’t be one that you remember for years to come.