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Why Wreck it Ralph is Already the Best Videogame Movie Ever Made

6/15/12 8:15pm
tl;dr

 You don’t have to watch the film to know that it has already surpassed all other movies of the same genre for these seven basic reasons.

Wreck-It Ralph

 If you think this already sounds like an exploitation blog... Well, I admit it kind of is..

But dammit! I am going to talk about it! And rightfully so.

Now, after looking at its trailer about five-thousand times and following closely in several conversations about the upcoming movie, Wreck-It Ralph, I have already determined that it is vastly superior to any other video game movie that has preceded it.

But...Considering how bad video game movies have been, that’s not saying much is it?
Well, even if it does suck balls, here are some reasons it’s going to absolutely blow all of these other crappy films straight out of the water even if it is complete shit!

Wait, what?! You have not seen the trailer?!!!? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

WATCH THIS NOW!!! Before I come and find you...

Filled in now? Good. Allow me to proceed.

Essentially, Wreck-It Ralph is the Walt Disney Company’s latest attempt to maintain the life and existence of its animation studio. Which...Sad to say, has had a pretty lame roster of computer generated animated films. Last I heard, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt completely blew it at the box office and the only thing seeming to be lifting the shit around the Walt Disney Animation Studios is its most recent release, Tangled. Which told the classic Disney tale of a princess but in CGI for the first time.

Tangled

Tangled was considered a breakout hit, and since it’s success, the Walt Disney Animation Studios have been trying to take advantage of Pixar’s stumbling block with Cars II and are hoping that Wreck-It Ralph can bring back the former glory the company once had in the animation department.

Can Wreck-It Ralph save the heart of Disney? The very animation studio that made Disney the titan of entertainment that it is today? To me, not only has already saved Disney, but has also saved the reputation of video game movies. Why? Well, let’s find out...

#1 It has REAL Video-Game Characters In It
The Support Group

I thought I might get the most obvious reason out of the way first. Just the sheer fact that Disney put in the extra time, effort, and hard earned money to feature licensed, well-known, and REAL video game characters, should be the first thing that anybody should take into account for this movie. I was literally shitting myself and rolling around in it with unrestrained ecstasy when I saw the opening that featured the “Bad Guys” support group.

Never in the history of video games or cinema has there ever been a time when Bowser, Zangief, M. Bison, Clyde, and Dr. Robotnik appeared together in one scene. This in and of itself is a monumental accomplishment and people are going to go see this movie just for this one reason alone. And did you ever think you would live to see the day where Kano, a character from Mortal Kombat, a game where you rip out people’s spines and skulls out of their bodies, would star in a Disney movie?!? If anything, this shows that Disney has definitely grown some balls and some sincerity with its movies.

Even though these cameos are obviously being pitched as the strongest thing about the movie so far, I am a little worried that it might also be its greatest weakness. Think about it. Now that we have seen Bowser and Eggman, everybody expects to see Mario and Sonic. They might be keeping the best stuff in the movie under wraps, but I wouldn’t be shocked if characters like that didn’t make the film. There is only so much companies can do when they ask permission to use other people’s characters.

And knowing how nit-PRICKy people can be about everything these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if people hate it just because it didn’t have their favorite character.

Aside from that though, I really think this shows a lot of good and respectable qualities from Disney. They could have just as easily decided to create some cheap knock off characters that would have filled the roles that these more iconic characters play. But they didn’t take the easy path. They knew that people deserve nothing less than the legit, and they obviously worked hard to do something that has not really been done before. And that is... Pretty badass.

#2 It Satirizes Modern Gaming
Hero's Duty

The moment they uttered “Hero’s Duty” I just kind of laughed. I laughed even more at people who commented that it looked like a ripoff of Gears of War and StarCraft to which I simply replied “That’s exactly what it was supposed to do.”

Everybody seems to have an extreme to level of unwarranted hate against games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Gears of War just for the sheer fact that they have become so successful. Am I a little annoyed that game developers can just make ANOTHER game about a space marine or ANOTHER fps and get away with it while making tons of cash? Yeah. But do I hate these games? No.

For this reason I am just glad to see that Wreck -It Ralph makes a much more mature and subtle allusion to the unprecedented popularity of such games. It also gives me the impression that the people who made this movie know what they were doing.

I’m pretty sure anybody could just shove in mega popular and iconic characters like Bowser and give them any random dialogue to say. But I think it takes a certain amount of gaming experience to know what games were in the past, and what they are now. And the the demonstration of the knowledge is nothing less than VERY encouraging.

#3 It Establishes the Relevance of Video Games
Wreck-It Ralph Arcade

Sometimes, I think it would just be good to know that someone in the movie industry gives a shit about video games. SinceWreck-It Ralph is a movie that completely revolves around the world and history of video games, it has been firmly established that video games are more than just something nerds play with when they have nothing better to do.

For as long as games have existed, they have never really been accepted as high culture material. There are just not as many pop cultural references in movies and shows out there that refer to anything else besides Mario or Sonic as far as gaming is concerned. At least that I know of. And I think it is going to be really interesting to see how some film critics particularly unfriendly to gaming like Roger Ebert are going handle this movie.Will it tide people over? Will this movie give games the kind of recognition they deserve?

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I think Scott Pilgrim vs. The World made a brave attempt to accomplish this same goal, but with very minimal success. Even I kind of felt a little alienated by it. Things just seemed so blatantly random and they tried so hard to shove as many video game references, no matter how hazy or incoherent they were, into the film. I know a lot of gamers liked it but it just didn’t do it for me. And judging by l the majority of the population’s response to that movie, I don’t think it did that much for them either.

With this, I consider Wreck-It Ralph the runner up to the plate. And with the looks of things, I think the bases are loaded, and now we're just waiting for Wreck-It Ralph to hit it out of the ballpark for the future of video game movies.

#4 It’s Animated
Wreck-It Ralph

The one thing that has always bothered me about most videogame to movie adaptations is the fact that none of them are really animated at all. To this day I am still trying to figure out what the creators of the Super Mario Bros. Movie were smoking when they thought it was a good idea to make it a live action film. Ya know? The same drugs that lead them to make every other acid-induced delusions they decided to bring to life in that film?

BAD

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason the film industry has always felt like they just need some generically “epic” live action film to carry themselves for any extended period of time. Filmmakers have often turned to video games like Tomb Raider to launch an action series of films with limited success. Disney’s decision to make Prince of Persia into a movie was made out of the simple goal to replace the behemoth Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

But these desperate moves, more often than not, lead most of these big budget flop-busters to complete and total failure.

What should have been done YEARS ago is finally being realized in the form of Wreck-It Ralph. You see, video games are literally made by computer generated images that can be manipulated by a player to achieve a certain goal that the experience provides. Shouldn’t a movie be computer generated too? It makes more sense to me.

You have also got to realize the tones that animated films likeWreck-It Ralph establish, and the tones that live action films establish. When something is live action, you're willing suspension of disbelief is already tightened to a very large degree. But when you watch an animated film, you can pretty much accept that the experience is going to be rather far away from the dull harshness of reality. This in turn, creates a lot of creative possibilities for movies like Wreck-It Ralph.

And possibilities I would very much like to see.

#5 It IS Original
Wreck-It Ralph and Felix

I am pretty sure that most of you know that g1 Gaijin Goomba made a post called “Why Wreck-It Ralph isn’t Completely Original and why that is Absolutely Okay!”

He illustrated a few good points about how an independent film group had already made a CGI film that some felt was very similar to the basic premise of Wreck-It Ralph. And for the most part I agreed with his points about why that was okay.

But, on the question of originality, I have to say I humbly disagree. You see, just because a film LOOKS LIKE it has the same premise of another film does not automatically make it unoriginal. Things become unoriginal when some of the exact same plot developments that occur in one story are shamelessly repeated in another. At least in my opinion. *Dances With Wolves* cough *Avatar* cough*

But by the looks of it, I don’t even know if it is fair to say that it even the same premise. In the independent film that Gaijin showed, it was just about some bad guy that was looking for a job. He didn’t necessarily want to be a hero. I think it fair to say that Wreck-It Ralph builds off of that basic idea more than it really steals from it.

It will probably much closer to the “Hero’s Journey” kind of story that depicts Ralph more as a character that we can relate to in the sam fashion of the “regular guys” like Luke Skywalker and Marty McFly from Star Wars and Back to the Future.

Except this time it is a “bad guy.”

But let me get off my soap box here and stop trying to needlessly shoot down Gaijin’s argument (Because I think it is actually pretty well stated) and really get down to why I think it is original.

The idea of bad guys becoming heroes and or likable people is nothing new. You see this in things like Megamind and Despicable Me. But this film seems to portray villains more as individuals who are only bad because it is their job. Not because they enjoy doing it. And Ralph kind of represents one of those people you come across every now and then who get an unnecessary amount of hate for something that they are supposed to do. I think that’s pretty cool.

And even though this could have easily been some kind of random mish-mash of characters from all walks of video games, I love how they present it as a world where they all live and interact. For this reason, it has drawn a lot of comparisons to Toy Story. Meh...I guess I can see the connection. I just think it’s more aptly described as the next Who Framed Roger Rabbit? than Toy Story (But for games),

It’s not like they occupy the realm of our world per say. And plus, I think Toy Story just kind of played off the idea that toys came to life after you go away and they really didn’t do much to portray them as some kind of group that had universal rules or boundaries. But with Wreck-It Ralph, it seems there is much more put into the world they live in. I think in this sense, it is more like Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

The monsters interact in your world when their job requires them to, but when they go back into the closet, they return to an articulated civilization that has a very firm set of rules that govern all of the other monsters. Same goes for Wreck-It Ralph. At least, from what I see at so far.

Whether or not its original or unoriginal, I think everyone can agree they really don’t give a shit either way and can come to the consensus that this is definitely a movie that needed to be made anyways.

#6 It is Not Based on Any Specific Franchise

In speaking of originality or lack thereof, one of the biggest things I see going for this film, and the opposite factor that brought previous video game themed movies down, is the fact that Wreck-It Ralph is not based on any original franchise. That means no strings attached, no distinctive traits compromised, just a chance to make a really good movie.

I have always questioned the reasoning behind Hollywood when it’s forerunners decide making a movie based on a game. Even more so than book to movie adaptations.

I don’t even thinks it’s because people screw them up that makes video game movies bad. I just truly believe that games and movies being forced together are just not matches that are meant to be sometimes. They are two mediums that I respect in their own right but any honest or intelligent person would tell you they are based on completely different standards.

It has not been until recently that games have really started to possess strong story. In the nearly forty year existence of video games, most of them have been designed as, well...Games. Not anything meant to widen your conscience about the world or make you explore deeper aspects of yourself. Just experiences that were a hell of alot of fun and provided you with hours upon hours of time when you could just let go of reality for a second and turn your brain off.

In this notion, filmmakers have had to take some serious liberties in order to make, or TRY to make video games work as movies. And in the long run, it’s usually not even worth it. Games are games and should be respected as such.

And on top of that, I have never felt that anybody really wanted to make a video game movie adaptation for the sake of telling a story. Most of these movie studios just want to cash in on a fad or pull something out of their asses when they have nothing else to bring to the table.

But, after decades worth of shitty video game based movies, we finally arrive at Wreck-It Ralph. When you have a movie that sets its own stage, it completely thins out the expectations people would usually have if that movie was based on something else. And that’s the key. Its expectations.

If I told you that there is going to be a Mario movie, you are going to walk into that theatre thinking that you are going to get the exact same feelings you got from playing the game when you were a kid. And that expectation is a subconscious trait that we all have but usually won’t admit to possessing when we actually do.

But if I tell you there is a completely new movie that you have no reference material to compare it to directly, your mind is just a clean slate that’s ready to be filled. The magic of mystery is there and you are much more willing to accept what the story really is.

And even though Wreck-It Ralph ushers in the nostalgic feelings we get whenever we see characters like Bowser or Dr. Robotnik, Wreck-It Ralph completely changes the way we look at those characters by creating a whole new world for them to live in.

By constructing such an ingenious world, we still come in loving it for what it we know it is, but we still restrain ourselves from over analyzing the situation simply because we are already so intrigued by the mystery the world creates. We have a strong feeling we don’t entirely know what it is all about, yet we are not scared because we see familiar faces waiting for us there.

All in all, when you have a movie that doesn’t have to be put on the bitch leash of the thing that inspired it, that movie can be free to do some pretty amazing things. And things that we just can’t wait to see!

#7 The Possibilities
Wreck-It Ralph

Even when taking into account all the things that we know could make Wreck-It Ralph good, it is ironically the things that we do not know that could make it great.

And I am not just talking about possible cameos made by other iconic video game characters like Mario, Sonic, Link, Megaman, Ryu, and etc. or possible sequels to movie if it is good.

I’m talking about the kind of revolution this film could make if successful. Just imagine this. Since this movie has already created a world where very iconic and very well-known figures in gaming appear, who is to say they won’t carry this on for other characters?

Maybe they could tell Mario’s personal story in a world where other characters from other video games live. Hell, that could be the origin story of the entire videogame world! It could tell how Mario united video game characters from around the world and how he formed order in the video game realm!!! THAT WOULD BE TOTALLY SICK!!!!

And if you have a movie where all these characters interact with each other, just imagine some kind of MMORPG based on this world where you can traverse the realms of some of the most famous games in history! Sure it would probably be the biggest licensing mess ever, but wouldn’t that be cool?!

Hell, why not make a Wreck-It Ralph Theme Park Ride!!! You could hav... Alright I am getting carried way here.

Point here is that the possibilities are just endless, and they go everywhere from having games based of the movie to even having a T.V show based off of the movie. I know some of these dreams may be far fetched, but I know those possibilities are there. And are very real if WE make this movie successful enough. That’s what it comes down to. We must speak with our money. If Disney get’s it right, we have got to show them that we want this to continue! Like...FOREVER!!!!!!!!

Okay I know I have just completely thrown out all reservations, have gone absolutely bat-shit crazy in hype for this movie, and have completely lost my ability to be assertive and or cautious of it being bad, but...*Going Super Nerdian 9000* THIS IS GOING TO BE THE VIDEOGAME MOVIE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Loses breath*... Okay... Maybe I got a little carried away...

But I think I have given some pretty good reasons why this movie is absolutely going to rock your socks off. In the long run, I cannot really tell you if you the movie is going to really be great or not. All I can say for sure though is that's premise and it's scope are definitely things that have restored my faith in Disney and the world. In the end, it's just a movie you thought you would never get a chance in your lifetime to see but is somehow coming to life before your very eyes.

I don't care how reserved you are. I AM FREAKING PUMPED FOR THIS MOVIE. And due to obvious observation, I think its safe to say everyone else is too. 

Thank you for reading and stay screwy!!!

BTW... Any body recognize that all too familiar hand on the right corner?

 

 

 

 

Alright... I'll stop being a troll...

Chun-Li

CHUN-LI!!!

Damn... Zangief, Bison, and Chun-Li? Somebody was a serious fan!

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