Ralph Breaks The Internet: Just, All Of It
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
I know what you're thinking: sequals right? They inevitably suck, usually devolving into nothing more than a shameful attempt to cash in on the previous movie via the wonderfully flawed concept of reuse. Reuse the characters. Reuse the plot. Reuse the circumstances. And lets face it; we only ever give them a shot because of those few shining gems that are actually better than the original : Lethal Weapon 2, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Night, The Wrath of Khan, Aliens etc. The list seems long, but when compared the numbers of serial sequels . . . it's drops in the ocean.
But every now and again we get an original story that just happens to involve established characters. And this is one of those movies. RBTI is Pixar's Lethal Weapon 2. Everything, from the scenery to the circumstances, to the characters is its own. And what it uses from the first is built upon instead of simply copied.
Lets start with the scenery. The first movie took us back to those warm memories of our favorite arcades. But instead of the customers bouncing from game to game it was the characters. It was nostalgic, and simple and we loved it.
But RBTI uses the entire internet as its canvas. All of it. And the way the imagineers at Pixar adapted that daunting subject to the screen was both creative and accurate. Nor did they sugarcoat it. It shows the internet in all its complexity, horror, and glory. As we follow Ralph and Vanellope's story we are treated to eCommerce, Pop up ads, Social Media, Gaming, the Dark Web, Fan Sites, and (worst of all) Internet Comments. Its all there, packed into a two hour movie.
And yes, some of the characters were from the first movie, but instead of simply having them do the same thing, they start where they left off; a true irony being that they are video game characters. They are still the same characters, but they've grown from their experiences in the previous story, giving the story a sense of continuation. And the movie's cast is far from limited to established characters, introducing us to everything from search algorithms to sorting algorithms, to online gaming characters and players.
Characters in the real world are far more represented in this game as well. One of the most entertaining parts of the movie is watching the characters interact with the avatars of people from the real world, often to disastrous (from their perspective) consequences.
And then there's the plot. Whereas the first movie was about learning to accept yourself and others, this one is about the life cycle of a friendship. Not only is it a different plot than the first, its a plot rarely tackled by media of any type. But the movie does a fantastic job with it, leaving us with that same warm feeling we'd ended the first movie with.
I also loved the interpretation of Vanellope being a Disney Princess, despite the fact that this breaks the fourth wall.
This is a movie well worth seeing in the movies, and then buying. It has so much crammed into it that you could watch it a dozen times and still find something new. It is well deserving of a 95% rating from this reviewer.
P.S. Oh, and make sure you stay to the end of the credits for an important preview! Its the perfect post credit for a movie about the internet.