tek's rating:

Wreck-It Ralph (PG)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This came out in 2012, but I didn't get to see it until 2014. (Two years is actually pretty quick for me, but still, I really wanted to see it, so it felt a bit longer.) It was accompanied by an unrelated short film called Paperman, which I also really wanted to see, so... I was doubly happy to finally get the DVD. And then, when I started watching it... I thought it was just okay, for a big chunk of the film, but I kept thinking it would get better once Ralph met Vanellope (the character I was most looking forward to seeing for the past couple of years). And I was right. But even once she showed up, it was still just pretty good. It took a bit longer for it to get really, really good, but by the end, I felt it was fair to say I loved the movie. So, yay. It still could have been better, but mostly yay.

Anyway... it's about characters in arcade games. There's a game called Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer), and the game's title character is a handyman who fixes up an apartment building after Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly)... wrecks it. And after thirty years of this, Ralph gets sick of being the bad guy. He's just doing his job, after all. He's doing what he was programmed to do. And even after the arcade closes each night, and the video game characters get to just be themselves... everyone in the game loves Felix for being the good guy and hates Ralph for being the bad guy, even though neither of them have any control over what they do. Actually, Ralph is in a bad guy support group with other bad guys from other video games. That was fairly amusing. But finally, Ralph decides to leave his game and find a way to win a medal in some other game. The plan was to come back with the medal and have everyone in his own game start treating him better, but... things got complicated, and he didn't make it back, so without Ralph, the game appeared to be broken. Which meant, if it couldn't be fixed, it would be unplugged and taken away permanently. Which means Felix and all the other characters would be out of work. So Felix goes looking for Ralph.

I'm probably saying stuff out of order. But anyway, Ralph had snuck into a new sci-fi war game called Hero's Duty, with futuristic soldiers fighting alien bugs (Cy-bugs). The soldiers are led by a woman named Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch), who is as tough and harsh as you would expect any drill sergeant (or Jane Lynch character) to be. And um... after Ralph totally fails at the game, he decides to basically cheat and steal the medal without going through the motions, the second time around. But then he gets attacked by a newly-hatched Cy-bug, and stumbles into an escape pod, along with the bug, and they end up crash landing in another game, called Sugar Rush. Ralph finally ditches the bug, which he thinks dies, but he's wrong. He also loses his medal, and goes off to retrieve it, which is when he meets an adorable and snarky little girl named Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who steals the medal to use as a coin, which she needs as an entrance fee to a sort of go-kart race through the Candy Land-like world that is Sugar Rush. Meanwhile, Felix meets Calhoun, and they both begin searching Sugar Rush together. While Felix wants to find Ralph, Calhoun wants to find the Cy-bug, which she fears will lay eggs, and the new generation of Cy-bugs (which are more like computer viruses than characters) will destroy Sugar Rush and then all the other games in the arcade. Oh, and it's pretty obvious that Felix and Calhoun, who are complete opposites, will end up falling in love.

Anyway, after Vanellope runs off with the medal, Ralph goes looking for her to get it back. But when he finds her, the other little racer girls are all mercilessly taunting her and destroy her kart. So of course he feels bad for her. And when he finds out the medal has already been spent, she offers a deal to get it back for him if he helps her win the race. And they slowly start to become friends. Yay. Oh, and the ruler of Sugar Rush is a wacky little guy called King Candy (Alan Tudyk), who is desperate to prevent Vanellope from racing. At first he seems like a complete jerk, but eventually he explains his motivation to Ralph, and it actually makes a great deal of sense, and he seems like a good guy. So he convinces Ralph to stop Vanellope from racing... which, of course, devastates her. (And kind of crushes me, too.) But even then, I had my suspicions that King Candy really was a villain. And Ralph eventually learns the truth about him, or at least part of it, so he'll have to go back to helping Vanellope. It's not until quite a bit later that the full truth about King Candy is revealed (and I figured it out about fifteen to thirty seconds before it was revealed, but I really should have figured it out a lot sooner).

And, um... I feel like I've kind of said too much about the plot already. But I've also left out lots of details, some of them pretty important. I will say the story has a really happy ending. And the plot threads all tie together nicely. And I enjoyed all the characters (especially Vanellope, possibly my favorite Sarah Silverman role ever). And there are lots of neat gags throughout the film, related to various things like video games and candy/junk food and whatnot. (I really dug both the Oreos and the Devil Dogs.) And there were plenty of funny lines. And I'm sure I've already forgotten lots of little details that I loved for the few seconds they were on screen, which is fine, because forgetting details is part of what makes rewatching movies fun. Oh, and there are some nicely sugary songs during the end credits. And... I guess that's all I can think to say, for now.

Followed by Ralph Breaks the Internet

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