Rating (2.5 out of 5)
The challenge was to write a sequel to an original mediocre animated movie. We received a lesser script with an oddly dark plot point. During a holiday season, with a lack of good movies to watch, Disney figured this would turn a profit, no matter how mediocre the screenplay.
Plot: Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) have a good life, but little has changed to their daily routine over the last 6 years. Vanellope yearns something different. Ralph makes a new track in her game, but a person playing her game breaks the steering wheel when she is riding on the new track. Ralph and Vanellope must navigate the internet to buy a wheel to prevent her game from being bought for scrap.
What I Liked: The introduction of an on-line racing game was cool, and wished they leveraged the characters from the on-line game more. I think on-line gamers would be interested in having old game characters included into current games, with some of their old powers.
I laughed at Ralph’s viral video segments, like his face on top of a goat. Yes, I could imagine an office loving those internet videos for a day or two. All the old games can be used as ring tones, why not Ralph’s face on a goat.
Vanellope travels to the Disney section of the internet, to sell her pop-up to Ralph’s videos. There she sees all sorts of Disney characters. I especially liked the stormtroopers who tried to capture her for selling pop-ups in on a Disney site. To escape the stormtroopers, she jumps through a door and meets all the Disney Princesses. The Princesses are the high point of the movie. They leveraged every joke from the Princesses that was possible.
What I Didn’t Like: I enjoyed my ride with the movie from the breaking of the game, going into the internet, all the way through getting the money, to the videos. Then the ride fell apart. The exact scene is when Ralph calls Vanellope and Vanellope is talking to Shank (Gal Gadot) but Vanellope muted Ralph by mistake. Ralph overhears her desire to stay in the on-line racing game. This setup just to force the next plot point. Also, this plot point made both Ralph and Vanellope look selfish. This added an extra element that was needed.
Then the ride went from bad to terrible. Ralph’s character takes extreme actions and goes to the dark web to get a virus. This is a pretty dark turn, especially when we talk to a person with a deformity. Not sure what we were saying when the only person who has a deformity is a bad person. Ralph releases the virus in the on-line game, and Vanellope is almost killed, which continued a dark theme.
The dark ride gets darker as the virus finds Ralph’s insecurities and his insecurity becomes the security gap and the Ralph virus is created. I can’t believe they used this horrible play on words to establish a virus and final major arc for the movie. For me, the virus was the downfall of the film. To defeat the Ralph virus there wasn’t any cure we had to rush to obtain together, Ralph only had to face his insecurities. The final resolution was lazy script writing.
When you see this lazy script writing, you go back and notice the rest of the script was poor as well, but you accepted it as part of the movie, because you want to enjoy the movie. Lazy items include the broken steering well, the bidding on eBay, every major plot point was poor. This was poor script writing 101.
Conclusion: The movie starts fine and some funny bits, including the Princesses. After that it is downhill and the movie ends with a thud, and you leave disappointed.