Ralph Breaks The Internet is a sequel that is better than the original in many ways, while falling into some of the same negatives it had and more.
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Riley) causes trouble again as he inadvertently breaks Vanellope’s game world (Sarah Silverman) and makes all the inhabitants homeless. The duo then takes a trip through the internet to find a replacement piece for Sugar Rush before it is permanently removed.
For a film titled “Ralph Breaks The Internet” it seems like an afterthought as that chaos doesn’t come into play until the last 15 minutes. It is more of an excuse to break down and joke about social media and memes for an hour.
This is a fun watch that has a slow start but when it picks up you will be fully with the adventure. It grazes over serious topics like internet comment culture and toxic relationships. That added depth could have raised it from good to great.
One step forward and to the side
Story motivation starts out solid, then takes a backseat for gags about cat memes and whatever else is trending. The slow start is made up for by a strong middle act supported by a satisfying ending. The story has a nice pacing that makes the near two-hour experience feel like half of that.
The original is about nature vs nurture with Ralph fighting his programming to become a good guy, while V chooses to be a racer instead of a princess. Choosing who you want to be is a big focus theme, meanwhile the focus here hides away until the final sequence.
Toxic relationships, out-growing your environment or the people in it are subjects that have a lot to work with yet take the day off here. The writers want to get those messages across but taking the scenic way there diluting it a bit in the lesson
Vanellope talking about how she was a mistake or Ralph breaking her car in the first were tear-jerkers. The emotional moments here pulls its punches, touching more serious topics with a 10-foot-pole rather than take them head-on.
The same level of creativity from the first is present for visualizing the space of the internet and funny game references. However, a take it or leave it issue arises from the missed opportunities or restraint shown in some story moments/jokes. Not much of the internet is PG and without a doubt, a story like this would have benefited from loosening the reigns.
Ralph Breaks The Internet works on different levels
The animation is very stylized. There is an attention to detail put into every character down to their unique movements. As a result, the world feels alive along with people like the Princess’ having their own original clothes.
The music is Disney 101 you have the heroic notes, sad horns and every instrument in existence for any moment. It does the job, servicing each scene to give that extra bump of emotion. Although, there’s a unique score with Vanellope that is one part touching and part hilarious take on princess songs that is pure gold.
Character designs and environments are great across the board with small details and nuances. Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) has a slick design to go along with her movements. Double Dan (Alfred Molina) is the dark web mobster whose slimy design is the stuff made of nightmare fuel along with his cousin.
Voice acting is top notch all around Silverman and Riley knock it out the park as they bring these characters to life. They don’t sound like they’re pretending to fall off a cliff, they sound like Disney literally threw them off with a mic. To be more direct, they believe every word coming out their mouth so you will too.
The ride is worth a ticket
When all is said and done there is more than enough to like here and overlook the stuff that isn’t so hot. I came out wanting to see a Disney Princess team-up movie as all their scenes stole the show. I would have never foresaw myself saying that but the team did a brilliant job in making them awesome. Kudos.
The after-credits scene alone bumped my score up for having hands down the best gag of the film for people that complain about trailers. There are little moments like it spread throughout to surprise and delight audiences.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is a good sequel to the original that makes another fun adventure for endearing protagonists. A slow start and spotty writing doesn’t take away from the strong center that makes this worth a watch.