Ralph (John C. Reilly) is back in his next big adventure with the wonderful Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) once again in tow. This time he brings his signature charm to the web in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
What’s the tale this time around? Well, Ralph and Vanellope are living the high life living their best possible lives. Ralph is enjoying his work while Vanellope is doing what she does best, racing hard and having fun. It’s been six years since the events of Wreck-It Ralph and they’ve got into a great groove. They work hard, play hard, rinse and repeat.
Unfortunately, that seems to be an issue with Vanellope. She finds her life in Sugar Rush is slowing down. She knows all the tracks, all the racers and she always wins. She herself is in a rut. To try and fix this Ralph “builds” another track to try and spice up her day. This leads to shenanigans and the Sugar Rush game getting damaged. Mr. Litwak the owner of the arcade won’t buy the replacement gear for the game so he decides that he’ll sell Sugar Rush for parts.
Hearing this Ralph jumps into action to try and save his best friends home. Fortunately, the internet has come to the arcade and using the Wi-Fi Ralph and Vanellope head to the web to track down this replacement part.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is something of a mixed bag of a film. A lot of the elements have been improved upon from the first outing. For example, the animation is gorgeous. The world of the internet is vibrant and full of colour. The beings that live within this world are full of character and flair. A particular favourite of mine was Spamley (Bill Hader) who has some of the best comedic lines in the film especially with his partner Gort.
Not only that there is Shank (Gal Gadot) a character from an online racer called Slaughter Race. She’s edgy, cool and everything Vanellope wants to be. She also has an incredible charm that shows Gadot was having a blast working on this film.
I will say this Ralph Breaks the Internet is not as funny as its predecessor. I found myself chuckling but I wasn’t laughing a lot which was a shame. This may be down to the fact that the marketing for Ralph Breaks the Internet has been nonstop and audiences may have seen a lot of the funniest scenes already. On top of that are the almost constant stream of dad jokes from Ralph which never landed, at least for me. The way the story sets Ralph up is basically he’s a dad first being introduced to the internet. This is where a lot of his humour comes from, mispronouncing eBay, not understanding cat memes, etc. It’s not great.
The film is also too long clocking in at 1 hour 52 minutes. There are several times where the film veers off to show off the wonders of the internet. I’ll start with the villain – there is no need for the late third act villain Double Dan (Alfred Molina) which is a blink and you’ll miss it role. On top of that was the contractually obligated journey to the Marvel/Disney/Pixar section of the internet.
This might as well have been the studio knocking on the cinema screen and saying aren’t we amazing? Aren’t you so happy we exist? Then the Disney princesses make an appearance and it’s okay. It would have worked so much better if the marketing for this film decided to hold something back.
What saved this film for me and ultimately brought it back was the core emotional story between Ralph and Vanellope. Their relationship and how it has evolved from the last film and how it evolves throughout this film is wonderful. It will hit a lot of people hard and will easily be the best element of the film. The ending for me was quite powerful and for all my gripes I still enjoyed Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is ultimately a good sequel that is unfortunately stuffed with unnecessary elements but when it comes back to the main plot and the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope it will bring you to tears.