‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (2012) sets a new high score.

17 Feb

Wreck-It Ralph PosterFilms that harbour the theme of video games rarely work. Direct adaptations are almost never successful mainly because what acts as an enjoyable experience as a game will not necessarily work as a movie. The reverse applies; video game adaptations of movies, which were, for a long time, extremely common, tend to fail for the exact same reason. From the horrendous Super Mario Bros. movie of 1993 to the frightening array of Uwe Boll films, game-themed cinema has a rather bad name. Can Wreck-It Ralph help to change this?

Loosely set in a 1982 video games arcade, Disney’s latest animation Wreck-It Ralph follows its title character in his quest to free himself from the label of ‘bad guy’. Stuck wreaking havoc in a game whose title does not bear his name, Ralph (John C. Reilly) endeavours to achieve the status of ‘hero’, one way or another. Throughout his journey he encounters nefarious subplots, genuinely hilarious puns and a wonderful assortment of video game references, and the drama quickly escalates into something far beyond his original goal.

The film has been out in the USA since November, though is only a week old here in Ireland. I was very excited for this; video games and film are two of my favourite ways to waste time, so of course an effective amalgamation of the two should be perfect for me. Not to mince words, Wreck-It Ralph is the best video game-themed film of all time. It quite shrewdly blends the classic with the contemporary, the archaic with the advanced and the blurry with the beautiful. From the very old-school blockiness of Pac-Man and Fix-It Felix to the colourfully bouncy Sugar Rush to the high-res Hero’s Duty, an array of art styles clash and contrast with wondrous aplomb.

Everyone is going to love this movie; at the screening I went to, it was me, my friend, two others our age and the rest was parents with young kids, and everyone seemed to have a blast. John C. Reilly voices Ralph very adequately with no sense of grandeur or pastiche, which may sound like a criticism but really isn’t; his character is 2D, after all. 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer’s gentle Southern tones add a homely quality to the beleaguered Felix, and although Sarah Silverman does a great job with her part, as a fan of her comedy I spent the movie expecting an ironic anti-Semitic joke to raise its controversial head, though thankfully it never did.

As regards to the video game references, they get them out of the way early and in such a fashion as to not beat you over the head with them. The nods to Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog et al are worked into the narrative, and aren’t there merely to sell tickets. Gamers who grew up in the late eighties and nineties (such as myself) will appreciate (or, if you’re my friend, literally squeal with joy at) the appearances of Bowser, Pac-Man, Ryu and Q*Bert, though their appeal soared over the heads of the legions of mothers, fathers and children who will see this; it won’t matter, they are cute if inconsequential.

An innovative, original film emblazoned with the sheer ingenuity that adorned Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 25 years ago, Wreck-It Ralph is a fantastic movie. Kids and adults alike should love it, and the many video game references serve as the cherry on top of an amazing 8-bit cake.

Simon says: the one game you won’t mind watching.


2 Responses to “‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (2012) sets a new high score.”

  1. CMrok93 February 18, 2013 at 4:01 am #

    Though it falls for the conventions we hate to see in these types of movies, it still has plenty of heart and fun that it definitely makes the final-product all the more better. Good review Simon.

    • Simon Mernagh February 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      It follows the traditional family-friendly story and character arcs, but still feels fresh! Cheers dude 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Brian Finnegan



Me and all of you


Reviews and blog home of Shadow Woods Metal Fest

The Neighborhood

The Story within the Story

Waving at Magpies

There's no marmalade at Paddington Station.


Productive procrastination from my final exams to compliment my final exams. Can't go wrong, right?


some kind of wonderful

Talking Horror

A Podcast About All Things Horror

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.


A look into film - past, present and future.


It's about movies

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

The Lady's Sanctuary

Whisps and Whims, Writing, Wishes and Whispers.

Audio SeXXX

Eargasms found here!

feral love

night waste; an experiment in largely unedited nighttime musings & thoughts

Film Through Time.

A look at film through the years, in all shapes and forms.

Independent Cinema

Watching movies alone. Always.

Nameless Horror

Unspeakable Acts

Bib Overalls Film Blog

This is my personal blog about Bib overalls films and TV series. It's my first blog. I collect here informations, trailer videos, low-res images and personal comments/ratings.

film review london

concise movie reviews & news

The Silver Fox

I like to tell stories.

Keith Broni

Keith Broni's blog.

Ello world, it's me!'s Blog

whatever passes through my mind...

Dublin to Hollywood

Writing my way to Hollywood - one script at a time


A great WordPress.com site

Poshknacker's Blog

coming proudly from left of your peripherals.

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Katie Ingram


The Noise Made By People

Reflections on music and life. But mostly music.

Lateral Love

"The time is always right to do what is right" ~ Martin Luther King Jr

Celluloid Wicker Man

Reviews, Essays and Analysis of Film and Art By Adam Scovell

Shouting From The Left

Combining Marxist/Humanist/Socialist ideals with satire to create a rhetoric which aims to deconstruct current political socio-cultural events.


A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers


Sounds way better than Cheese and Crackers.

Lonely Eskimo Films

We're just a team of friends that want to show the world how creative we can be :)


Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

Little Thread Crafts

Stitching Away One Thread at a Time

Bad horror, Good times

Reviewing the best of the bad!

%d bloggers like this: