Ralph Breaks the Internet Film Review (Spoiler: It’s a better Internet Flick than a Video Game Movie)


Haddy W. Dardir, GW Staff Writer

On November 21st, the release date of Ralph Breaks the Internet, my family and I ordered tickets early enough to attend a showing at the Regal Crocker Park Stadium 16 and IMAX on that day. Surprisingly, I was more satisfied by the end of the movie than by the excitement building up in my brain before it. I had a somewhat blurry idea of what to expect other than the film having characters representing online ads being a movie ornament (as showcased in the 1st trailer) that speak the text on the front of those ads. When I finally watched the entire cinematic, I was amazed at how deep it went into the blessings and horrors of the all-knowing, vivid world known as the internet. Additionally, the movie also has all the features of a classic, displaying heartbreak, dramatic structure (exposition, climax, etc.), and symbols reflective of real life, such as the best one: letting go of the person you love.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!!!

The Plot

A brief summary of the plot is as follows below:

A small clip before the movie showcased the three directors facetiming each other while simultaneously mocking facetime by actually sitting next to each other in reality. During it, they explain all the work and effort having went into the film and how they tried their best to include everything they love about the internet.   

At the beginning of the film, when Ralph and Vanellope are enjoying their lives by working in their games all day and playing around all night, Vanellope claims that she wishes something was different in her game instead of the same experience over and over again. Feeling sympathy for his best friend of six years, Ralph feels the internal power to create a new track in her game with his power to wreck anything. The girls playing as Vanellope in Sugar Rush picked her because of her beneficial glitching powers, but Ralph’s new track, created from wrecking the ground, arouses confusion in the girls, due to how Vanellope enjoys it so much to the point the players can’t even maintain control over her any longer. Then, terrifyingly, the girls twist and pull the steering wheel to the point of snapping it off of the arcade cabinet.

Sugar Rush winds up being unplugged from the arcade, with Vanellope and the other inhabitants of her homeworld becoming homeless. Although Ralph tries to squelch her anguish through means of the “We can horse around all day long now!” consolation, Vanellope is nevertheless disappointed. Despite her game usually being the same experience every day, she sulks about how she won’t be able to come back at all since she still had fun and never knew what to expect.

When Ralph is drinking in the arcade classic Tapper with Fix-it-Felix and vocalizing his grief, Felix makes a sound after drinking a big one the sounds like “Ebooyuuuh”. After telling Felix to repeat that sound multiple times, Ralph realizes it vaguely sounds like “Eboy”, which, with some imagination, sounds like “Ebay”. When the girls were telling the arcade owner (I forgot his name) that they broke the Sugar Rush wheel, they immediately pulled up on their phones this unknown place called “Ebay” to help him find a replacement. However, he wounded up not being able to afford it, with the wheel being priced at $200.

With Ralph remembering this strange place, he realizes it’s in the Internet, which is restricted to every game character in the arcade. However, him and Vanellope sneak in, and in doing so become introduced to a metropolis of wonders.

The rest of the film renders parodies of all the creators’ favorite things about the internet, from the search bar of web browsers being a curiously-animated, fast-talking, and wise purple fellow, to the judge of whether a “Buzzztube” (parody of Youtube) video is viral worthy or not being a blue skinned, elegantly dressed woman with an African-American accent, to a very cool animated version of the Disney website featuring Vanellope interacting with CGI remakes and remasters of every Disney princess.

In their quest to find Sugar Rush a new wheel, Vanellope starts to become obsessed with this online GTA-esque racing game titled Slaughter Race. Being way cooler than the monotonous and straightforward atmosphere of Sugar Rush, Vanellope feels a desperate want to stay in the game. However, after finding out without Vanellope knowing, Ralph tries to solve this issue, but only has it lead to a massive virus of evil Ralphs taking over the internet.

When Vanellope and the real Wreck-it-Ralph stabilize the massive virus through love and compassion, they eventually turn it into light and disarm the Wreck-it-Ralph virus that was eluding internet researchers in the outside world.

Ralph then realizes than at the end that Vanellope staying in Slaughter Race is the best path for her to take. Additionally, after getting enough money to purchase a new Sugar Rush wheel through “BuzzzTube” videos featuring him, Ralph stations himself in his old life at the arcade, constantly being proud of his best friend for following her dreams.

The Messages

Ralph Breaks the Internet has a lot of messages finely written into the plot. However, the one message that really stood out to me was, surprisingly, a parent giving his child more independence, and ultimately realizing he/she can’t be with his/her child forever.

Mid-way into the film, after visiting Slaughter Race with Ralph for the first time (which he clearly didn’t enjoy as much as Vanellope) , Vanellope is eager to explore other parts of the internet, and tells Ralph that she wants to go in the direction a sign saying “Social Media” is pointing towards. Ralph protests this, and is overprotective by telling Vanellope to avoid that path. This is very symbolic of how parents are restrictive in letting their kids try new things they didn’t grow up with, such as social media and realistic, violent video games like Slaughter Race.

Another parental situation represented in the film is how Ralph intentionally unleashes a powerful virus on Slaughter Race as to convince Vanellope not to stay in the game. However, after finding out it was Ralph’s doing, Vanellope gets very angered with him and breaks their “best friends” necklace. This represents how sometimes, when you’re a parent, trying to protect your child can lead to him/her severing ties with you. As a result of your caring mindset, it can only lead to your child estranging you from his/her life.

Lastly, one of the most important messages of the film are parents having to become less insecure and dealing with the fact that they have to let their child go. When the massive virus perpetrated by the virus Ralph used on Slaughter Race breaks the entire internet, all the cloned-Ralphs making up the Wreck-it-Ralph virus groan “friend, friieeeend…” every time they come close to Vanellope. However, when Ralph and Vanellope dissolve the virus, Ralph goes back to the arcade and accepts Vanellope’s decision to stay in Slaughter Race. This displays, like Ralph’s insecurity, the insecurity parents go through when their child goes farther away from them. Nevertheless, all conflicts between the family are eventually solved when the parents accept their child’s decision to venture out into the world on his/her own.

The Verdict

Ralph Breaks the Internet has been criticised by a bucketload of people due to having somewhat of the same trailer flair as The Emoji Movie. However, according to reviews, the reviews of the former (88% on Rotten Tomatoes) compared to the latter (8% on Rotten Tomatoes) suggests how superior Ralph Breaks the Internet is in almost every way. In my opinion, Ralph Breaks the Internet is the greatest internet movie I’ve ever seen (with a very entertaining after-credits scene as well) , and one that will appeal to all ages across the world-wide web as well.