I occasionally rant about films which disappoint me. I try not to slag films off willy nilly because … well, it’s a bit dull, isn’t it?
Every now and then there’s a film I have high expectations for because the creative team behind it have struck gold before or because it’s an unutterably cool premise or because I fall for the hype and get all wound up about it. When those films suck, I get a bit upset and occasionally feel the need to vent – especially when they’re films everyone else seems to love unconditionally.
I don’t know why, it just rankles.
I rarely praise films though, not at great length; but I feel I really should.
I don’t know.
Whether I like or dislike something should be largely irrelevant to most of you reading this. I mean, it’s not like my opinion holds any sway … fuck, it barely holds any interest. But I’m much happier being nice about stuff than nasty, so in order to redress the balance, let’s talk Wreck-it Ralph.
Have you seen it? If not …
MILD SPOILER WARNING!
Actually, you know what? These aren’t really spoilers. I think the film’s excellent and even if I describe every minute of it to you, you’d still enjoy it for the sheer exuberant awesomeness it is. Having said that, if you haven’t seen it and want to experience it fresh … then stop reading now.
Wreck-it Ralph – loved it. Paper Man, the short at the beginning, is so beautiful I thought it was going to overshadow the film … but it doesn’t.
Wreck-it Ralph is so exquisitely crafted it’s just a joy to behold – the spine is so clear and every beat hits dead on. It’s the story of a man who can’t accept his place in the world and everyone he meets reflects his own flaw. Instead of learning to love himself, he sets out to attain external validation (winning a medal) but even that he does wrong – instead of earning the medal (or affection), he tries to steal it.
Venelope is (on the surface) just like him; but she wants to gain acceptance through her own merit. The villain is just like him; but is further down the path Ralph has set himself on – it’s just beautifully orchestrated.
I aspire to creating such a solid spine in everything I write; but it rarely actually materialises and tends to get bogged down in details, scenes and characters which have nothing to do with the theme or heart of the story.
Wreck-it Ralph breaks down into four beautiful parts – he isn’t happy; he tries to change it by doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason; he tries to do the right thing for the wrong reasons and finally he accepts his place in life and does the right thing for the right reason. He learns to use his unique skill for good and finds his place in the world – it’s just brilliant.
Following this sort of structure may seem formulaic but it creates moments of genuine emotion because everything Ralph, Venelope and King Candy do comes from acting on the same impulse in different ways.
The set up is smooth and flawless – you get a ton of information about how the world works without really noticing it.
I love animation anyway; but having a four-year-old, I tend to see more of it than I would otherwise wish to; but when it’s as good as this … it’s just sublime. I’ve seen quite a lot of heavy-weight films this year and the best of them left me thinking “yeah, that was okay” Wreck-it Ralph is the only film I’ve seen this year which thrilled me and left me with a big smile on my face.
It’s also the only one I can hold up as a template against the scripts I’m writing at the moment and go “Ah, that’s why it’s not working – that bit’s sticking out too much!”
Not that I’ve ever said that; but you know what I mean.
So … yeah. Wreck-it Ralph – go see it and then think about it. A lot.
You know, I feel like I had more to say when I started this post … now it all seems a bit pointless.