“Wreck-It-Ralph” is probably the first movie about video games that’s actually good. “Super Mario Bros.” was a fiasco, the “Resident Evil” films resulted in varying degrees of meh, and even the latest “Silent Hill” couldn’t make any noise. “Wreck-It-Ralph” is another story.
John C. Reilly voices Ralph, the villain of “Fix-It-Felix Jr.,” a “Rampage” style game that is celebrating it’s thirtieth anniversary. Forced to sleep on a pile of bricks and hated by the characters in the game, Ralph leaves the confines of “Felix” in search of a medal that would, in his mind, make him more of a good guy and get him accepted by the others in his game.
After getting the medal in “Hero’s Duty,” a “Halo” type of game, Ralph crashes in the candy-coated world of “Sugar Rush,” a racing game. There, he meets Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman), a character in the game who’s also a glitch. Also shunned by the people in her game, she’s not allowed to race for fear she might crash the game, making everyone in it cease to exist.
Featuring cameos from characters like Q-Bert and Zangieff from “Street Fighter,” “Wreck-It-Ralph” is a love letter to all video games, new and old. Characters from older games even move in a blocky, eight-bit motion and have less detailed animations, while newer characters, like Jane Lynch’s Sgt. Calhoun from “Hero’s Duty,” are animated to the nine’s, as if they were in a Playstation 3 game.
The animation on the whole doesn’t compare to the work Pixar does, but “Wreck-It-Ralph” doesn’t aim to be on that level. It only wants, just like Ralph himself, to be good. And for kids and parents, “Ralph” is most definitely good.