There was a long, rumour filled, six year gap between the theatrical release of Wreck-It-Ralph and its much anticipated sequel. More than half a decade to follow up the feel-good family favourite, with its lovely friendship- conquers-all story and the kind of nods and cameos that left the older members of the audience feeling like they belonged in the theatre. And now, Ralph Breaks the Internet hits home release for those wanting to enjoy it from the comfort of their own sofas.
Years have passed since Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) found each other and became the best of friends. Sadly, the racing game princess has gotten bored of her day-to-day life and needs a change. As friends do, Ralph tries his best to fix things for his bestie by making a few adjustments to her arcade cabinet. But, as is the way when your friend is Wreck-it-Ralph, things don’t go quite to plan and the game ends up broken and unplugged, leaving the characters of Sugar Rush homeless unless our heroes can obtain a rare part to repair the cabinet and get it powered back on.
So Vanellope and Ralph head out to the World Wide Web on the hunt for retro gaming wares! With the only place to find it being the mythical and scary world of eBay, the pair must find a way to pay for the part and get it to the arcade before the scrappers come to collect it. From making viral videos and trying to – literally – break the internet to discovering new, exciting and edgy racing games to play and spending time with a world of Disney princesses, our heroes have quite the journey ahead of them.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is ok, not good and certainly not great. This rare Disney sequel has the feeling of a few great ideas that were had while discussing the possibility of a follow up, and the rest of the nearly two hours built around those few scenes. The top-billed pair spend very little time acting on the film’s plot and are more there to facilitate said scenes and jokes. They’ll be the moments you remember about this film long after the mostly forgettable movie is over. Vanellope’s time in grimy driving game Slaughter Race – a Disney-fied vision of Twisted Metal and Death Race – and Ralph’s time imitating a world of viral videos are honest-to-goodness great moments that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. As will that perfect moment that gives Sarah Silverman – along with Gal Gadot’s race queen Shank – Vanellope’s long deserved Disney Princess musical number. In a film that sits painfully obvious with its self-parody, ‘A Place Called Slaughter Race’ is a wonderful moment of clarity for the company, and a fun little number, to boot.
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Add to that, the 111 minutes of playing spot the logo and Easter egg hunting, Ralph 2 never hits the lofty heights of its predecessor. And it’s a real shame. While he was far more succinct than I, I can’t agree with our own Callum Petch’s review more. I truly share his disappointment here.
On home release, Ralph finds itself an ok release. Again, not good and not at all great. The transfer to digital and Blu-Ray looks and sounds terrific. But it isn’t a release for anyone that wants more than the base film. As extras go, Ralph Breaks The Internet is all but bare bones in its release. Compare this to releases of even a couple of years ago and it is quite the disappointment and will be an obvious point when the discussion arises on the eventual death of physical media.
A five minute video pointing out less-than-obvious in jokes and Easter eggs, a five minute video on the score – frankly, you’re better off reading Shaun’s review here – don’t really inspire. There’s a slightly longer selection of Making Of videos that are good and insightful, but even when padded out a bit, they are woefully short. And really, who wants a couple of music videos in their extras anymore? The true highlight is the animated viral video montage that, on any other non-Disney Blu would be called ‘Cats are assholes’.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is an ok little film, but a painful lack of extras to this home release leave it in the “wait for a sale/rental/Netflix” list for all except those that loved it. It just isn’t worth cracking open your wallet for.