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Ralph Breaks the Internet Movie Review

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(L-R): Sarah Silverman voices Vanellope, and John C. Reilly voices Ralph, in directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore’s animated adventure comedy, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ a Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures film.

Title: ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

Directors: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore (‘Wreck-It Ralph’)

Starring (Characters voiced by): John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson and Ed O’Neill

Venturing into the uncharted, expansive and fast-paced world of the internet can be both incredibly exciting and overwhelming, depending on the unique situations that people find themselves in. That’s certainly the case for the two well-meaning and innocent protagonists in the upcoming animated film, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’ The adventure comedy, which serves as the follow-up to the Oscar-nominated 2012 movie, ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ highlights how the title character and his best friend, Vanellope, struggle to find their place in their new world of the internet. While the two friends are close, Vanellope’s amazement at their new environment, and Ralph’s fear of change, leads them both on an adventure that helps them fully realize who they truly are, both as individuals and together.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ was directed by Rich Moore, who returned to the series after helming the first entry, and first-time feature film director, Phil Johnston. The second installment was written by Johnston and Pamela Ribon. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is set to release the sequel in theaters next Wednesday, November 21.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ begins in the title character’s (John C. Reilly) arcade, where he and his best friend, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), have been harmoniously living together. They fulfill their duties in their games during the day, and then hang out together in their neighboring arcade games at night. Vanellope is lamenting the fact that her racing game, Sugar Rush, is getting a little boring, so Ralph takes it upon himself to amplify the excitement in competition. Ralph is eager to make his friend happy, so he decides to make Sugar Rush more thrilling.

But Ralph’s well-intentioned shenanigans trigger a chain of events that culminate with a player in the arcade accidentally breaking the steering wheel off Vanellope’s game. When the arcade’s owner, Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill), learns that a replacement part would cost more than the game makes in a year, he has no choice but to unplug Sugar Rush and sell it for parts.

Ralph and Vanellope learn that there’s replacement steering on eBay, but the duo have never heard of the internet, much less the auction website, before. But Mr. Litwak has recently installed a WiFi router, so the arcade is actually online for the first time. So the friends decide to take the leap into the unknown world and travel to the internet in order to find the steering wheel and save Vanellope’s game.

When the duo arrives at the internet, it strikes them as loud and fast-paced, which leaves Ralph nervous and uncomfortable, but Vanellope is smitten with her new unpredictable environment. The friends decide to brave their new setting together anyway, in order to obtain the new steering wheel from eBay. Once they arrive at the sales website, they learn about the concept of money, and set out on a crazy adventure to earn some quick cash to pay for the part. Along the way, they realize that no matter how different their personalities are, and what crazy situations they find themselves in, they’ll always be best friends.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is an equally amusing and sentimental follow-up to the dynamic and original ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’ Like in the original film, Johnston and Ribon creatively proved that a seemingly intimidating antagonist like Ralph isn’t as frightening as he appears, despite his imperfections. Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship also continues to be genuine and engaging, despite their differences, notably his desire to have life remain the same, while she longs for more excitement and unpredictability.

While the antics that Ralph and Vanellope embark on when they reach the internet are highly comical, from the duo naively giving into spam to try to make money playing video games to the the iconic ’80s villain appearing in parody videos that are created by social media pioneer Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) in a further attempt to raise the funds they need, some of the emotional struggles that the best friends go through are also intense and complicated. Ralph and Vanellope perfectly highlight the realities of all relationships, which are driven by emotional highs and lows. Friendships are tested from time to time, and Ralph and Vanellope have to maneuver the complexity of theirs, while also attempting to navigate the vast and often intimidating internet.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ further powerfully shows a realistic emotional complexity that isn’t often highlighted in comedic animated films by emphasizing that Ralph and Vanellope would have completely different points of view. Upon journeying into the complicated internet, Vanellope falls in love with it. In particular, she’s immediately enthralled with the high intensity of the at-times frightening and unpredictable racing game that’s led by tough competitor, Shank (Gal Gadot). Ralph, meanwhile, can’t wait to go home to the safety of the arcade and the comfortable life he leads. The two best friends realize that their lives, like the internet, won’t always be the same, and change by the second.

Venturing into the uncharted, expansive and fast-paced world of the internet can be both incredibly exciting and overwhelming, depending on the unique situations that people find themselves in. That’s certainly the case for the two well-meaning and innocent protagonists in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet.’ The animated adventure comedy both comically and emotionally highlights how the title character and his best friend struggle to find their place in their new world of the internet. While the two companions are close, Vanellope’s amazement at their new environment, and Ralph’s fear of change, leads them both on an adventure that helps them fully realize who they truly are, both as individuals and together.

Technical: A

Acting: B+

Story: A-

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As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.

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