Heroes need great villains to define them.
Consider Batman without the Joker, Spider-Man sans Green Goblin. Mario wouldn’t be as super without King Koopa, nor Luke Skywalker as cool without Darth Vader. And Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock”) has nothing to fix without his counterpart Wreck-It Ralph’s John C. Reilly of “Step Brothers”) smashing contributions.
Complete with over-sized fists and big heart, “Wreck-It Ralph” abandons his life as a villain to redefine himself as a hero, by any cheat codes necessary. In the process he game-hops through a virtual rogue’s gallery of the best video games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter II, and Q-Bert. (Diehard gamers beware, the scenes in game central feature an unbelievable number of cameos, so be prepared to freeze-frame the frak out of those scenes when the DVD hits the shelves.)
Of course, what would a villain-turned-hero be without a plucky, cute, sometimes annoying sidekick? Vanellope, voiced by Sarah Silverman, fills the bill nicely, playing against Sergeant Calhoun with the always delightful Jane Lynch.
In it’s 52nd animated feature film, Walt Disney Pictures shows it still can find the pulse of all-age entertainment. My group of two thirtysomething parents and two younger kids found moments of delight in the film, even if some of the finer scenes were spoiled by the trailers. At its best, the movie is a video gaming feast for the imagination.
Sure, it doesn’t reach the incredible heights of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” but “Wreck-It Ralph” is still a knock out.