Movie review: 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' wrecks web

The sequel to 'Wreck it Ralph' attempts to make sense of the online world

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

We all use the internet, but it's difficult to describe in real world terms. "Well it's this place ..." Stop there, it's not really a place, insofar as you can't go there. See, it's already confusing, and boring. 

Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) in "Ralph Breaks the Internet."

It's even harder to visually depict the internet as a setting, which is what "Ralph Breaks the Internet," the sequel to 2012's clever-but-uneven "Wreck it Ralph," chooses to do. It attempts to breathe life into the world behind our computer screens; pop-up ads become annoying people, "likes" are collected like cheers from a concert stage, searches are directed by a friendly, scholarly type. 

That's not really how the internet works, but if you're thinking that, you're already thinking too hard. "Ralph Breaks the Internet" is an excuse to upgrade the action from the first film, which took place inside the video games in an old-school arcade, and place it on the information superhighway.

It's also an excuse for brand placements galore (eBay, Snapchat, Amazon, Fandango, IMDB, and of course Google) and for Disney to nearly swallow itself whole. The entire sorority of Disney princesses shows up — from Cinderella and Snow White to Elsa and Moana — because, well, their likenesses exist on the internet? Again, thinking too hard. Disney's throwing a party. Whoo-hoo!

The story finds Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) trying to raise $27,001 to cover an over-extended eBay auction, which they do by earning money from going viral, splashing Ralph's likeness across the web. "Ralph Breaks the Internet" doesn't have anything new to say about our online behavior; it just wants us to log on and tune out.


'Ralph Breaks the Internet'


Rated PG for some action and rude humor

Running time: 114 minutes