Death, taxes, and Disney. 3 surefire constants in life. Disney has made a TON of quality films: Toy Story 1-3 (Pixar but still under Disney umbrella), Lion King, Duck Tales Movie (You better believe that counts), Little Mermaid, the list goes on. And hey, they’re allowed to have a Black Cauldron, Chicken Little, or Meet the Robinsons every so often. Then what happens? Disney buys Star Wars and fires out films faster than Alexandra Ocasio Cortez fires out her lack of knowledge regarding government structure. SHE ACTUALLY THOUGHT SHE WAS GETTING INAUGERATED??!! Anyway, some of the Star Wars films were solid (Rogue 1 and Episode 8), and a couple that weren’t (Solo and arguably Episode 7). But Disney is that guy you want up to the plate with bases loaded and down by 3 in the bottom of the 9th. They’ll bring it home and make more “feel good” memories for you 8 times out of 10.
So when they announced a sequel to one of my favorite recent Disney films, Wreck it Ralph, I was immediately ecstatic. How perfect was the mix of 80’s/90’s video games, humor, and even a message of acceptance for people with physical issues that doesn’t constantly hit you over the head. I laughed throughout the first film and had to rewatch to see all of the characters walking in the background of all the scenes. How did I think the sequel holds up? Well…
Ralph and Vanellope (John C Reilly and Sarah “I don’t mind watching Louis CK beat off as long as that ginger juice doesn’t get on me” Silverman) are back in Litwak’s arcade, hooping it up when Ralph accidentally contributes to the breaking of Sugar Rush’s (Vanellope’s game) steering wheel. Uh-oh! A replacement steering wheel costs more than Sugar Rush takes in a year so all the characters escape from the now shutdown video game. Vanellope and Ralph make their way into the wi-fi router and head to eBay so they can get that replacement steering wheel and save Candy Crush from being taken out of the arcade. Cue the spam/pop up add jokes, the google autofill jokes, and various internet gags. After Ralph and Vanellope win the auction for the Sugar Rush steering wheel, they learn that Ebay does indeed cost money. Ralph heads off to make goofy videos and becomes a viral star with the help of the algorithm, YESSS (Taraji P Henson). Meanwhile, Vanellope heads off and gets tied in with bad girl/wannabe Fast and the Furious racer, Shank (Gal Godot). Vanellope wants to drive and Shank tells her that maybe Sugar Rush is not longer for the place for her. Enter internal conflict of staying with her best friend or leaving for her dreams.
At this point, this film is solid and just about as enjoyable as the first. I must say that when Vanellope goes to the Disney section of the internet is HILARIOUS. She runs into Star Wars characters, priceless. But when she mets all of the princesses of the Disney films is when this film takes the cake. Tons of shoutouts, tongue in mouth jokes from Snow White to Mulan to Elsa. That writing couldn’t have been more sharp. But I have to say, this film disappointed me when Ralph tries to sabotage the internet with a virus. It really lost me in the end and I think the payoff was subdued because I wasn’t really on board with that final act. Is this a fun film? Yes. Did I like it? Yes. But is this in the same ballpark as its predecessor? Absolutely not.
I give it a 6.5 out of 10.