Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph (2012): Mormon Movie Review

   "I'm gonna Wreck-It!"  The phrase has been echoing around our home (mostly by me) ever since we saw the trailer.  I took my two older boys Garren (7) and Greyson (4) to see Wreck-It Ralph this past weekend. (now available at Amazon)  It was truly a joy.

   Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix Jr.. Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives in the arcade they live in featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun, Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan -- win a medal -- but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz, a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?

   If you were born any time from 1975 to 1990 you are going to love Wreck-It Ralph for pure nostalgia alone.  Ralph attends a regular Bad Guys Anonymous meeting where he learns to cope with his role as the villain in the game.  There are so many popular video game bad guys of my youth in his group; M. Bison and Zangeif from Street Fighter II, Bowser of Super Mario Bros, and Clyde from Pac-Man among others.  

   One of the major themes that is carried through is that of bullying and the effects it has on our self esteem.  Although Ralph plays the role of a Bad Guy in his game, once the arcade closes he is a gentle giant.  But the citizens of his game exclude him from their community and treat him poorly.  At this point in the movie my oldest son Garren really started having a hard time emotionally.  He is pretty sensitive to these sorts of things.  You can learn a little more about why he is so perceptive when it comes to being bullied and feeling eluded here.

   Wreck-It Ralph is smartly written, well acted, and beautifully animated.  The world is truly an original idea where game characters travel through subway like surge protectors.  John C. Riley's Ralph is endearing and lovable.  He surrounded with other great character voices that really fit well.  There are 3 main games the movie takes place in, and each one if stylized slightly different, yet all are amazing and immersive.

   Wreck-It Ralph is a kids movie and is appropriate for all.  Some scenes might be a little intense for younger kids.  When Ralph goes to the game Hero's Duty it is pretty extreme.  When imitating a soldier in this first person shooter Ralph even comments, "When did video games get so violent? It's scary out here!"  There is also a bit of irreverent humor when Hero's Duty is referred to as Hero's "Doodie."

   Wreck-It Ralph is great fun for the whole family.  It teaches us that to have good friends, we need to be god friends.  It is in theatres now and you can check show times on

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