Wreck It Ralph Review

Everyone wants to be a hero, and who could blame them?

You’re the most popular guy in town, you get free pie or sometimes even a medal from your grateful neighbours and a truckload of groupies.

Ok, I made that last one up.

Truth is I wouldn’t know what a hero gets, because I’m not one.

And neither is Ralph.

You see, Ralph wrecks things; always has since he was programmed some thirty years ago.

It’s not his fault really, it’s just in his code.

But at least he’s sort of on equal billing in popular eighties arcade game Fix It Felix, though no prizes for guessing who the hero of this particular arcade game is.

Thirty years of playing the bad guy takes its toll though, and Ralph has started attending a bad guy’s anonymous group where Bowser, Zangief, Dr Robotnik, Pacman’s ghosts and many more classic arcade bad guys hang out and talk about how this makes them feel.

But even this doesn’t seem to help, so when Ralph hears about a nearby video game at his local Root Beer Tapper joint, the kind of game where he’ll get to be the hero and win a medal, our villain decides to take a break from his day job and try his hand at playing the hero.

Wreck It Ralph is the retro brainchild of co-writer, director and even voice actor Rich Moore, all about the adventures of an 8-bit villain called Ralph with a hero complex; and it’s an idea so fiendishly brilliant that you kind of wonder why nobody else was smart enough to dream it up until now.

Presumably inspired by the Rampage arcade game I still remember from my youth, where you could play as one of three different monsters and wreck a city’s skyscrapers in a non-terrorist way, Moore and co have crafted a story around old video game characters that we all know and love.

And by we, I mean me and anyone else in their early thirties.

Adding built in eighties references to the lush and child friendly animation is the perfect recipe for amusing little kids as well as the not so little children of this world, who I believe are more commonly referred to as parents.

Leading the grown up comic vocal talents are John C Reilly as Ralph, cementing his role as Hollywood’s go to man for the grumpier roles in film, whilst Sarah Silverman speaks her mind as Venelope, an adorable little girl with mischief in her blood who Ralph meets on his journey outside of his own game.

So whether you fancy yourself as a hero, or have simply accepted your role in life as the villain, Wreck It Ralph will make you laugh and cry in pretty much equal measure.

Well, it made me laugh and cry anyhow.

And here’s a final thought for any other villains out there; heroes can’t exist without us.

Jonathan Campbell

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February 2013
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