In an unprecedented turn of events, I actually saw a movie on opening day, though that was just a coincidence and not planned in any way. I was a huge fan of the original 2012 movie, and I was very excited when I first heard that a sequel was being made. However, as more and more information came out, and the eventual trailers, my excitement began to wane, as it seemed that the sequel would be going away from a video game focus to explore memes, mobile games, internet culture and an over stuffed franchise (what doesn’t Disney own these days?).
However, with early reviews being positive, and my love for the franchise and the characters themselves, I was ultimately excited to see this sequel. Over all, this isn’t a bad movie; I think that it is ultimately a good film? It’s hard to say, because when all is said and done, I honestly just did not like it. But I think that that dislike comes more from my own personal preference than anything else, though this certainly isn’t a ‘perfect’ movie or sequel regardless of my personal feelings.
A very basic synopsis is as follows; the steering wheel on the arcade machine of Vanellope’s ‘Sugar Rush’ video game breaks, and the arcade owner says that he cannot afford a replacement and plans to get rid of the broken machine. Fearing that Vanellope and the other residents of the game will be forever homeless, Ralph and Vanellope embark on a journey through the Internet thanks to a recently installed router/modem, in an effort to locate a replacement part. Hijinks ensue.
One unfortunate aspect of this movie is that it comes in the shadow of 2017’s atrocious ‘The Emoji Movie’, and the similarities are comparable, though Disney’s version does handle it better. However, even without ‘The Emoji Movie’ in mind, there are a number of jokes and references throughout the movie that are just terrible; some are just poorly done, some were already badly dated by its release and will only become more dated over time, and some were just terrible in their own rights.
But that’s not to say all of the jokes were bad. There were several good ones mixed in with the bad, to an almost 50/50 split, though there actually weren’t all that many jokes, good or bad, in the whole. Sadly though, the absolute best two jokes came after the movie was over; yes, this movie has both a mid-credit scene as well as a post credit scene.
In places the story gets a bit fractured, with almost 2 completely separate stories going on at the same time, and towards the 3rd act an entire new storyline breaks out. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing I think will completely depend on the viewer; for some it will be good, yet others will find it flat out bad (I’m kind of in the middle there).
Another aspect that brings my enjoyment down is the shift in focus from the originals’ video game centric story, to this ones’ Internet focus. I love video games, and that aspect was one of the biggest appeals for me. In this movie, video games are barely even represented at all. To me it’s almost like a Sherlock Holms film without a mystery to solve.
I also felt that the character of Ralph was done a massive disservice by making his character rather clingy for most of the film, a characteristic that comes heavily into play in the last act. To me at least, this felt like a forced change in character just to create tension and to serve the plot.
Finally, the ending. I will not go into detail, but basically the ending really depressed me. It has a sort of bitter-sweet vibe to it, which in of itself isn’t a bad thing to have in general, but I personally didn’t feel it was ‘right’ for this movie, or this franchise. When the first movie ends, my heart is warm and fuzzy, and I like that in this kind of movie. When this movie ended, I just felt sad, and I don’t want to feel sad coming out of a Disney movie, specifically a Wreck It Ralph movie. And in my opinion, the ending of this film kind of ruins the happy ending of the original.
Call me sentimental, but I just don’t like having my previous happy endings disrupted.
So in the end, this wasn’t a bad movie, and it was probably mostly good (although it could have used some editing with some of the terrible jokes). I just did not like it. But I would recommend anyone who liked the first one, or Disney films in general, to go see it and decide for yourself.