In Brief: Ralph Breaks the Internet runs almost 2-hours. Too long for an animated flick by half-an-hour.
First of all, the title. Why not go with the natural alliteration? Instead of Ralph Breaks the Internet, the title flows better with Ralph Wrecks the Internet. That doesn’t wreck the movie and a title change won’t make the movie any better.
Ralph’s best buddy Vanellope is bored. She’s almost as bored as you’ll be when you get sucked into the overdone and overly puffed up, Ralph Breaks the Internet. She’s the star of the video arcade’s game, Sugar Rush and wins every race. Ralph — wanting to do something nice for her — creates a new track. It causes the real-life woman playing the game to break the steering wheel. A replacement is $200. The owner won’t replace it and is going to junk the game.
Vanellope is crushed. She’ll no longer have anywhere to live. Nor will she be able to do what she does best. That’s race.
Ralph remembers hearing something about eBay. He and Vanellope jump into a wifi connection and head for eBay to see if they can get one for less. Not understanding how bidding works, and thinking numbers are just numbers, they end up bidding many thousands of dollars for the steering wheel.
No spoiler from me. I’ll let what you hear about the movie on the Internet do that for you. Ralph and Vanellope have to stay in the Internet to figure out how to pay it off. Along the way, Ralph ends up causing a total crash of the Internet.
Directors Phil Johnson (who wrote Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia) and Rich Moore (the director of Zootopia and Wreck-It Ralph) didn’t wreck Ralph’s sequel, nor did they break it, however, outside of a funny scene or two, their film isn’t up to the fun of the original. The kid or grandkid tugging at your pant leg begging to see it will like it a lot. You will not.
Adults, you can nod off through most of it but there are two things that make Ralph Breaks the Internet worth seeing. The first is the imagination of the writers and two directors. Their vision of the Internet and how it works is terrific. That’ll elicit a laugh or two.
The second is a scene involving Vanellope and Disney’s plethora of princesses ranging from Snow White to Moana. It is very clever and — in places — laugh-out-loud funny. Other than that, the movie is pretty so-so.
My biggest complaint about Ralph Breaks the Internet has to do with the film’s length. What’s with Disney lately? The studio’s last kiddie movie Incredibles 2 pushed two-hours. Ralph Breaks the Internet makes you wade through close to two.
Since most of these films draw small, wiggly, easily-bored children and some easily bored adults and movie critics, the optimal length is 90-minutes. In Ralph’s case, it has 30-minutes of extra, not-needed padding.
Directors: Phil Johnson, Rich Moore
Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Ali Wong, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neil, June Squibb, Tim Allen, Brad Garrett, Antony Daniels, Corey Burton, Vin Diesel, Kristen Bell, Jodi Benson, Auli’i Carvalho, Jennifer Hale, Kelly Macdonald, Mandy Moore, Bill Hader, Ginnifer Goodwin, Hugo Weaving
Rated PG for mature themes. This one isn’t wrecked nor broken, but it is bent up a bit and isn’t up to the original’s fun. Give this one a 2 1/2 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale for adults and 3 1/2 for kids.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Catch Gary Wolcott Friday afternoons at 4:50 on KXL’s Afternoon News.
Gary has been KXL’s movie critic since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 28-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Click here to email him.