Movie Reviews

‘Wreck-It Ralph’: Pixel perfect

By Tay Yek KeakMovies - 28 December 2012 5:33 PM | Updated 5:38 PM

‘Wreck-It Ralph’: Pixel perfect

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tell me honestly.

Have you ever felt bad – like really, really bad – for, say, Skeletor, Lex Luthor, the Joker, Republicans in America, and those pesky little blobs which Pac-Man chases and gobbles up in the video game?

I mean who died and made those fellas the bad guys?

So, what if deep down, those folks, through no fault of their won, have always wanted to be the good guys for a change?

Remember what sexpot Jessica Rabbit said in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ – “I’m not bad; I’m just drawn that way.”

In fact, one cute, gentle little Pac-Blob actually goes to the same group therapy session (a very funny sequence) for dysfunctional good-guy wannabes as Wreck-It Ralph, the designated bad guy here.

Wreck-It Ralph

But nothing can be done for these poor misunderstood baddies because everything is already pre-programmed.

Sorry, their job is to be the reliable Mr Nasty always, everyday, forever and ever until the last coin is slotted into the video game just before closing time.

Then, when the lights go out, they go back to being normal folks looking to chill after a hard day’s work just like us.

You know, like the coyote and the sheepdog clocking in and out of work saying hi to each other in those old wacky cartoons on TV.

In between, the “heinous” coyote always gets the c**p beaten out of him by the “heroic” sheepdog.

Totally unfair, right?

So, as these born losers console each other in rehab time about their sucky destiny like Lindsay Lohan with her parole officer, the commiserating bonding chant they recite together goes: “I’ll never be good and that’s not bad.  I’m bad, that’s good.”

‘Wreck-It Ralph’, let me tell you, is hilarious.

Conceptually.

It’s one of Disney’s best cartoons which isn’t a Pixar thingy. But because it isn’t a Pixar deal, it needs to go pathologically kiddie and hence, becomes less potent as it goes on. Those Pixar pics – ‘Toy Story’, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Ratatouille’, ‘Up’ – they are works of art and deep in grown-up thoughts.

‘Wreck-It Ralph’, though, isn’t backed up by such mature, clever insights because at some point, it’s designed to turn overly sugary sweet into some kind of dumbed-down visual Toyland since the little tots in the cinema hall would otherwise be getting restless.

But, man, it scores big-time on its great adult idea of an anointed baddie being actually an aw-shucks goodie who’s sick and tired of being a baddie.

If you’re a video-arcade zombie, you’d see how funny the first part of this set-up is in making Ralph (voiced sympathetically by John C. Reilly) a big, clumsy lug with angry, pile-driver hands who’s an ostracised misfit in the world of normalcy, both on and off-duty. 

By day, he’s always wrecking buildings and stuff as the killjoy-bully of the game. By night, he can’t join the happy wrap party with the other supposedly good but jerk-a** insensitive characters, and worse, he’s condemned to sleep on a garbage dump of broken bricks while the hero, a nice guy named Fix-It Felix Jr (30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer), resides in a luxurious building totally clueless about why Ralph is feeling so pi**ed off.

That is until Ralph decides to take matters into his own hands and goes on a quest to become a hero in another video game (gosh, crossing into another vid game is such an all-hell-breaks-loose breaking of archaic arcade laws).

Ralph ends up meeting a sweet kid, Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), in a girly, kid-size kart-racing game set in a cotton-candy world of sweets and confectionary called Sugar Rush. The spunky charmer – looking like a big-eyed China doll – thinks she is a computer glitch (aka mistake) and is determined in her own quest to be just like Ralph – someone who’s more than what she’s been assigned to be.

Meanwhile, while unintentionally oafish Ralph helps her in cutesy situations as the Incredible Hulk in ‘Alice In Wonderland’, two concerned vid-zens – Fix-It Felix Jr and a hot kicka** babe, Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), from a Halo-style space-soldier game –  pursue Ralph to get him back into his original game.   

Here’s where my sickness of being a Jurassic Part watching a kiddie cartoon kicked in. I couldn’t care less about anyone under 45.

There’s a funky love thing going on about freak-geek Felix and the female fem-bod sarge with boots and boobs that might have taken this flick into manga porn.

Boy, I so wanted to see that. Luckily, the relationship between Ralph, the sweet lug, and Vanellope, the adorable tot, is a good, fun big-bro-lil’-sis one at a harmless Mini-Me level of ‘Toy Story’.

There’s enough fun in it to turn, just like ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, even the sickie-baddie in me into a good one. So, go see.    

‘Wreck-It Ralph’ opens in theatres 20 December 2012