March 22, 2013

Satirical Retro Video Game Adventure

I'd heard an awful lot of good things about Wreck-It Ralph, so I made sure to check it out on bluray the first chance I got. Our daughter is at the age where she has the attention span to watch a full movie and she was pretty excited by the prospect of having a movie night. We all settled in and our hopes were high for this kid-friendly satirical retro video game adventure.

The beginning of the film has a lot of video game references. I was a little surprised that it went that obscure right off the bat, but it was done really well. I got a lot of joy out of the first 20 minutes.

The feeling of the film drastically changes when we get into the Sugar Rush game. It throws out the retro video game references and goes with a more convention kid’s film and the video game references are replaced with candy references. It wasn't bad, but for the record I liked the first act much better.

The basis of this film is that a “bad guy” is tired of carrying out his dastardly duties and wants to know what it is like to be in the role of the hero. Basically, he wants to better himself and do something good for a change. However, the rules of the game dictate that he must continue to do bad or his entire world will fall apart.

It is a surprisingly heavy message for a kids film. In order for a cop to exist there has to be a criminal. Our definition of good depends on there being evil. They side step it partially in Wreck-It Ralph by making it pretty clear Ralph isn't evil, but just acting out a role. Still, when you think about it, the film paints a pretty bleak picture for our main character. He is unable to move beyond his station in life. there is mo hope for him to ever be a good guy.

Ralph does help out a little friend from another game, giving his life meaning for a brief time. As we leave him we are led to believe that he will live out his days hanging on to his one act of heroism as he is thrown from the top of a building... day after day... for the rest of his life.

Aside from all the doom and gloom of being anchored to your unsatisfying position in life, the movie is quite entertaining. I laughed way more than I thought I would. My daughter loved it and has asked to watch it multiple times since I turned it back into the Redbox. We will probably end up buying it, “and that's not bad”.