I went to an exclusive preview of Ralph Breaks the Internet last month: the third ever Disney sequel, and the 57th Disney movie total, with a car chase they actually brought in a real stuntman to film, and captured the footage of via a hundred cameras to make the in-movie chase as realistic as possible. I don't know if the realism really came across but it did look good.
The producer and director were both there to talk about the movie, and answered a few questions from the chief of Walt Disney's Sweden division (I think it was) before it all started. No commercials. No gibberish wait time. A red mat leading into the cinema and comfy seats on a terrace, and a free seat with the perfect vantage point.
I would have been there with a buddy too but my buddy mistook the time so... that was a bummer.
I tried not to think about that as the movie rolled, though. It started a bit hesitantly, with Ralph and the princess lounging around the arcade, talking about the future, with first a glitchy Tron race I thought might be the lead into that-place-which-the-title-foretells-about, then a trip into the router where you really knew that: this was it.
They venture off into the great WWW in search of a new steering wheel to the machine Ralph accidentally wrecks, and the arcade owner can't afford to buy, and so starts a venture through a whole new universe of massive product-placement, but also charming and creatively presented Internet themes, memes, and so on. In many ways also an existential voyage.
Also how do you really make the Internet a visual thing? Watch this movie and you'll find out! They spoke a bit about that too before the movie.
With the initial fiber optic tunnel I was a bit doubtful they'd manage, but they surprised me! They really did it well, all the while throwing in not just recognizable brands but recognizable memes, and themes, and both culture and subcultures of the Net.
They even left in a little Geocities homage hiding deep down on the damp bottom floor of the Internet world! I probably missed some other equally cool details, but I'm proud I caught that particular one, and even more so knowing that most people probably didn't even recognize it, the brief moment that monumental memory passed by.
I won't delve so much into plot, but in it's essence it's a story of friendship, and though the storyline might be a tad bit predictable there's always an element nearby ready to spiff things up. Just the way they maneuver the world. The little things. The princesses. The Slaughter Racing scene... it made for plenty of laughs but also a few tear-eyed moments towards the end. I can't say I remember all that much from the first movie, but I'll definitely remember this one, and I don't think it's only because it was an exclusive premiere, which it was. Pretty cool.
More so I think I just relate a lot more to the Internet than I do to arcades, which even if the game characters themselves are mostly recognizable ones, isn't a universe I grew up with. The Internet, though, that's my shizzle. And I appreciated both those references and the various Disney ones they popped in through-out. It's a world of references, basically. A bit like Ready Player One but... well it's nothing like that after all.
It's not just games this time, it's Cyberspace. It's a whole new world, and a good one too.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome