10 January 2013

Film: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Thoughts: Not nearly as good as I thought it would be. Wreck-It Ralph really felt like a missed opportunity. Sure, the classic game references come thick and fast, and the whole thing has its heart in the right place, but the writing was, well, really kinda poor, the action was flat and spaced waaay too far apart, and the scope really quite contained. I frankly don't know why it is getting all these rave reviews. Nostalgia perhaps? Is this where we really start to see the issues with the new up-and-coming generation of oldies- an over-reliance and way too ruby coloured view of the past, flaws and all? Or is that the problem with every generation throughout history?

From imdb:
"A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives."

At least the voices and animations were good. Aside from that, I was really disappointed with Wreck-It Ralph. There's just honestly not that much happening, and no themes REALLY explored that well. Yes, it deals with that age-old conundrum of whether to work within the confines of your society, or to break free despite the consequences. But it really felt like it was just scratching the surface of the potential when it comes to the source material. Perhaps the creators wanted to play it safe? Play to the broad audience? Lowest common denominator? I don't know. All I know is this was really lukewarm.

The action didn't really do anything other films have done better, even Cars 2. And when you add it all up, there's only 3-4 true action sequences, each lasting a bare few minutes, if that. And the writing. Jokes are either quippy barbs or lame slapstick, and both fall flatter than a sprite. You listen as they set up a joke, and then... poor punchline or execution. And you think "OK, the next one will be better, I know it will." And... nothing. Let down once again. And then they start going all slapstick- and I don't mean good, classic slapstick. I mean boring old, gets hit in the shins over and over, falls down a tree, can't handle his clumsy etc etc etc. Boring boring boring. And the huge downtime between the 2nd and 3rd act does not help.

But the voice cast really does go for broke though, and there are heaps of recognizable voices and games scattered throughout the film. For detail junkies like me, that was a real kick.

It really is sad for a film like this to miss so much potential. But oh well, apparently I'm in minority. Which I guess is a good thing, because once this is finished making bank and causing critics to swoon, perhaps they can put a bit more effort into the inevitable sequel.


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