Wreck It Ralph: About as Funny as Pong

In order to tear something down, first you must build. Otherwise, there’s no loss, no drama. Wreck It Ralph took a by-the-numbers plot and over-gilded it with in-jokes, asides, and winks—almost none of which were amusing. I’ve been more engaged waiting for software to load.

2 responses on “Wreck It Ralph: About as Funny as Pong

  1. Speaking as someone who is very familiar with video games and arcade culture, I can tell you that WIR isn’t overloaded with in-jokes; there’s an assumption that any characters/jokes people don’t recognize must just be obscure, when quite a few of them (especially in the early Bad-Anon and Game Central Station scenes) were actually original and made specifically for this movie without being outside references at all.

    The crappy advertising emphasized the Bad-Anon scenes and video game jokes more prominently than the film actually treats them, and primed people to pay the most attention to them, when in reality the film is entirely focused on its own cast and the references are only at the very beginning. The cameos were actually the last thing the crew added to the movie; everything else came first and the cameos were just placeholders until late in production.

    I don’t understand the focus on whether it’s “funny” or not, it’s more of an emotional whiplash movie than “haha big man fall down, peak humor” movie. Vanellope’s total two instances of potty humor were spammed in marketing and made to look like the centerpieces of the movie or constant presences when they weren’t. Again, this comes down to what’s emphasized in advertising, and the whole “animated = funny cartooooon” mentality.

    And no comments on the “going Turbo” bit and how it was teased? Not only an identity twist, but a potentially-sympathetic comic villain turned out to actually be an attempted child-murderer who served as a foil to Ralph and died an ironic death, all framed in game characters’ fear of being unplugged and the lengths they’ll go to avoid it.

    The director and crew have actually given extensive interviews talking about painstakingly putting the characters, worlds, and customs of the arcade together, but a lot of extended scenes (particularly in Hero’s Duty) were cut either for time or because they were too closely tied to alternate plots that were scrapped.

    No offense to the reviewer, I get that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but this reads like a review of the trailers rather than the movie. I can’t see how there couldn’t be more to say than one single vague paragraph blowing the whole film off.

    • Sometimes one doesn’t have a lot to say about something. This was one of those cases. I honestly can’t remember much at all about Wreck It Ralph at this point, other than: it didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t moved, or entertained, or impressed by its look.

      Glad you liked it, though.

      Although extensive interviews with the cast & crew are like the explanations to jokes: sometimes interesting, but they shouldn’t ever be necessary if they did their job.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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