Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet
It’s difficult to make sequels for Disney movies. Each story ends with a ‘happily ever after,’ and untying the fairy-tale bow risks disappointment. Ralph Breaks the Internet takes that chance, and thankfully, it manages to pick up its predecessor’s story about the secret lives of video game characters without damaging the original’s heartfelt ending.
In Wreck-It Ralph, the protagonist (John C. Reilly) finds happiness through friendship and learns to accept his job as a video game villain. The sequel smartly creates new conflict without undoing that emotional arc. While Ralph has settled comfortably into a routine, his best friend, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), is chafing under the restrictions of life in the arcade. When her game is critically damaged, the duo heads to the Internet to find the necessary replacement part. Presented with endless online possibilities, Vanellope questions what she really wants, and Ralph struggles with her burgeoning independence.
For all its references to classic video games, the first film didn’t jump between games in the arcade much. Ralph Breaks the Internet does the opposite. From eBay to YouTube to the dark web, the plot travels to all corners of the Internet (including a much-marketed confab with Disney princesses). It’s a little unwieldy, and at times, the story drags. It all comes together satisfactorily, but it takes a while to do so. Luckily, Ralph and Vanellope are endearing enough to keep audiences along for the ride.
Should you see it? Yes, it’s a satisfying extension of a great story. -S.W.