Watching on often feels like being smothered in a pillow shaped as a Facebook ‘Like’

Ralph Breaks The Internet is a classic example of a good idea badly transferred onto the big screen. Taking the original’s retro gaming theme, and updating that into a modern world focusing on the internet was almost so obvious a choice, it was the only choice. But when making that transition, there needed a strong story line acting as a backbone for the film, not just one of a simple quest and deliver plot, with an overdrawn series of subplots hiding in plain sight.

Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah SIlverman) live a classic life hanging out in the arcade together, waiting until sunrise when they go back to their games for a new day’s work. However, everything changes when Vanellope’s game is broken by an unwitting child, doomed to be thrown away. Desperate to save Sugar Rush, the pair embark on a new quest into the unknown world of WiFi, unsure of how much their lives are about to change.

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The film almost feels like an anthology at times, offering scenes that have so clearly only been included in the final product for their gimmick it hurts. Watching on often feels like being smothered in a pillow shaped as a Facebook ‘Like’. The populist nature and themes run absolute riot throughout, largely becoming far too much and increasingly annoying. Ralph Breaks The Internet is more concerned with stuffing in as many references to popular culture as possible, rather than creating a worthwhile watch. The references would work, if there was a film ready to back them up.

Nevertheless, there are individual scenes with quality and worth (the Disney princess scene widely shared on social media before the film’s release being one of them), and these are spaced out across the picture in surprisingly even fashion. The humour is light and inoffensive, largely following the same tone as the original. However, this does leave Ralph Breaks The Internet failing to equal the sum of its parts, amassing a real sense of insatiability.

Somewhat, Ralph Breaks The Internet is a product of its generation, obsessed with social media, the internet and popularity, becoming a stark change in theme from the original picture. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a different style of film, and that change won’t always go down swimmingly. There’s so much to love about the sequel, but it doesn’t always flow perfectly, leaving a film with big gaps and very obvious flaws.

3/5

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