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Adventures in Wi-Fi: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Updated on January 5, 2019


Over the course of six years, video game characters Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz have become friends at the arcade where they entertain video game players during the day. Things change quite by accident in Ralph Breaks The Internet. Ralph (John C. Reilly) tries to help Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) make her Sugar Rush game a little more exciting by creating new race paths that won't make Vanellope's wins as much of a certainty. When Ralph does that, though, he makes it harder for the player to steer. One of them accidentally breaks the wheel, forcing arcade owner Mr. Litwak (Ed O'Neill) to shut off the game. Ralph and Vanellope soon learn that Mr. Litwak can't afford a replacement wheel, and that the company that manufactured Sugar Rush went out of business. While Fix-It-Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer) and Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) agree to adopt the Sugar Rush crew, Ralph and Vanellope decide they want to get the wheel for the arcade. They use Litwak's recently installed Wi-Fi to see if they can buy the part in an eBay auction.

The duo first encounters Mr. Spamley (Bill Hader), who has an ad offering more than enough money if they get him the main car in the video game Slaughter Race. Ralph distracts the car's racer, Slash (Gal Godot), while Vanellope steals the valuable car. Slash and her crew give chase, and eventually catch her. While Vanellope doesn't get the car, Slash points them in the direction of BuzzzTube, where Ralph takes the advice of the website's algorithm, Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), and earns enough money through a series of viral video antics to win the wheel and pay for the bid. Vanellope, meanwhile, becomes friends with a number of Disney princesses, and tells them how much she'd like to be a part of Slaughter Race. Ralph learns this, and turns to Spamley for help so he won't lose Vanellope. Spamley takes him to Double Dan (Alfred Molina), who gives Ralph a virus that Dan guarantees will attack and eliminate any insecurities. The virus's first target, though, is the already glitch-filled Vanellope. Ralph gets her out of Slaughter Race before she destroys that game, but the virus finds and even bigger insecurity and multiplies it.


Ralph Breaks The Internet is a fun-filled sequel to 2012's Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph not only wants to continue to be the off-hours good guy, but now he's taking his good guy act into other areas of cyberspace. Rich Moore returns to direct and write, but he gets help here in both areas from Phil Johnston, who had a hand in just the writing of the previous installment. The movie takes a look at popular culture, from the prevalence of cell phones to the titans of the web, such as Amazon and eBay. I'm guessing that either BuzzFeed or YouTube didn't consent to the use of its name for this feature, but BuzzzTube certainly encapsulates the exposure someone might get with a little good fortune. My one complaint is that while Ralph helps Vanellope, nobody seems to notice his absence in his own game. I'm sure Litwak would have had enough business sense to trade or scrap Ralph's game if it garnered little player interest. Still, Moore and Johnston have created an imaginative look at a world that remains open all the time, a world much bigger than the one that Ralph, Vanellope, and their arcade friends know.

Reilly and Silverman are still enjoyable as they reprise their roles. As Ralph, Reilly is the good guy who knows too much about wrecking things, even when he doesn't intend to do that. He tries to make Sugar Rush better for Vanellope, but his modifications wreck the game. He shows that he and Vanellope have no concept of eBay until they put the price of the wheel well out of reach. Not all of his efforts sit well with Vanellope, as some of them go against her wishes. Silverman brings a cheery presence to Vanellope, who discovers through Ralph's efforts that there are races to be had beyond Sugar Rush. Vanellope is also mischievous as she not only convinces the Disney princesses that she is one of them, but she also convinces them to don t-shirts and jeans. Gadot does well as Slash, the star of Slaughter Race who's merciless with online gamers, but admires Vanellope. Henson is fun as the energetic Yesss, who helps make Ralph an internet star. The most popular Disney princesses, from Snow White to Moana, are depicted, and most of the original voice actors portray these characters once again.


Ralph Breaks The Internet takes Ralph and Vanellope beyond the arcade and into a much bigger world full of electronics. Their journey starts as a rescue mission of sorts, but it turns into a journey of discovery as one of them thinks about the possibilities found in the world they have just come to know. It's a place where two friends test their abilities, and the potential they discover puts a test on their friendship. They attain their initial objective, but they learn how to be supportive of one another, no matter which way they decide to go.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Ralph Breaks The Internet 3 stars. Trying to avoid a permanent game over.

Ralph Breaks The Internet trailer

© 2018 Pat Mills


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