Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore, 2013)

What's it about? Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in a video arcade game, Fix-It Felix, who wishes to be the hero for once. So he abandons his game and enters others on a quest to prove his worth.


Is it any good? An entertaining affair, with an ingenious central concept as the old-skool 8-bit Ralph gets to grips with slicker, faster HD games. The animation is great and there's some good set-pieces and a smattering of funny (in-)jokes. (By the way, have you ever tried that Mentos and Diet Coke thing? You should - it's tremendous fun). Anyhow, as a result, Wreck-It Ralph works on different levels, with enough to keep both adults and kids reasonably happy. It's perhaps slightly over-plotted and it lacks the emotional impact of similarly themed films, such as the superior Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. But it's still worth seeing, even if the replay value is limited. Overall, I'd give it 111 out of 1010. Little binary code joke there, folks. Well, binary code anyway.

I don't trust you. What do others think? A solid enough hit all round. But the people who really got excited were gamers who could recognise all the video-game in-jokes and references littered throughout the film. There's obvious ones like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man cameos, but there's also loads of other ones, not just blink-and-you-miss-them ones, but also I-seen-them-but-I-didn't-get-them ones. Don't worry about that - it means you actually have a life. Here's Movieline's guide to the six best references and a comprehensive list of all the cameos featured. If you want to test yourself, how many can you spot in the picture of Ralph at the Bad Guys anonymous meeting above? Highlight the text below to see the answers:
Clockwise from Wreck-It Ralph: Saitine (probably Satan's Hollow), "Shinobi" (probably Smoke from Mortal Kombat), Bowser (Vs. Super Mario Bros.), Zangief (Street Fighter II), Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Fighters), M. Bison (Street Fighter II), Clyde (Pac-Man), Yellow Cyborg (Cyborg Justice), Sorceress, Neff (Altered Beast), Beholder (Baldur's Gate), "Cyborg" (Kano from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3), "Zombie" (Cyril from House of the Dead)
Anything else I should know? I must confess to a squeak of excitement at the reference to 'RoadBlasters', a game I played often down the arcade in my youth. People would crowd around as I played, astonished that someone who played a game so much could remain so utterly inept at it. Still, I got my 10p worth each time. That's right, folks. 10p. 

RoadBlasters. Lest we forget.
What does the Fonz think? All your thumb are belong to us.





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