Ralph Breaks the Internet is an upgrade to the already impressive Wreck-It Ralph.
Ralph and Vanellope have been best friends for 6 years now. But when the very existence of Sugar Rush (Vanellope’s arcade racing game) is threatened, the pair has to embark on a rollercoaster journey across the internet to buy a spare part on eBay. The movie whirs past in a blur of great visuals depicting familiar tech giants like Google, Instagram, and Snapchat. The movie’s contemporary commentary on social media and online culture is both funnier and works better than the first part’s exploration of arcade games. We are introduced to some interesting net denizens like the autocorrecting KnowsMore (a la Google Search) and the chief algorithm for YouTubeBuzzTube. This is easily the most imaginative and thought-provoking world since Zootopia and Inside Out.
The story unravels around the conflicting dreams of its lead characters. While Vanellope is smitten with the GTA-ish Slaughter Race game, in which Gal Gadot seems to have reprised her role from the Fast and Furious franchise, Ralph wants his normal life back. One of the many highlights in the movie was the squad of Disney princesses parodying themselves, while another was a chilling reminder of the internet’s toxicity.
The movie is unfortunately bogged down by a final act that is rife with melodrama and over-the-top action sequences. Despite these minor hurdles, the intended emotional effect is felt when the end credits roll. The movie, as you’d expect, is awash with pop culture references and deserves a re-watch if only for easter egg spotting. Disney doesn’t let go to waste such an organic opportunity for product placement, and parades a plethora of its top brands, including Marvel and Star Wars. The ‘I am Groot’ sequence was particularly hilarious and had me in splits.
Ralph Breaks the Internet enters Toy Story territory by virtue of the sequel being better than an already impressive original, but falls marginally short of Toy Story’s lofty standards with a slightly melodramatic and action-laden final act.