Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet

2018, PG, 114 min. Directed by Phil Johnston, Rich Moore. Voices by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Alfred Molina, Alan Tudyk, Ed O'Neill.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Wed., Nov. 21, 2018

2012's Wreck-It Ralph was a 3-D animated feature filled with buggy coding. It seemed like such a simple idea: Take the "inner lives of toys" mechanic from the Toy Story films and apply it to video game characters. In this case, it's Donkey Kong-esque hick lunk Ralph (Reilly) and racer Vanellope (Silverman), two misfits who find friendship together. Unfortunately, it was riddled with so many memes and side quests that it never felt like a complete film, even when the easy badinage between the two lovable leads was endearing.

Ralph Breaks the Internet remasters the original with a major upgrade: Litwak's Arcade now has internet access. Ralph and Vanellope are still best buddies, playing in their games all day, hanging around all night, and that's great for Ralph, but Vanellope, ever the racer, wants to find new roads. When Ralph's well-intentioned attempts to help mean her Sugar Rush console is headed for the scrap heap, they head to the web to find a replacement controller. Only problem is, what if Vanellope likes this new and infinite information superhighway a little more than her old three-track home?

Much as Ralph Breaks the Internet, let's get the worst out of the way. The opening arc once they reach the web is a slog through an endless cavalcade of intellectual property. Name a major website and its logo will appear (the plot explicitly depends on getting a replacement steering wheel through eBay) and it's grueling. Fortunately, once those contractual obligations are fulfilled, Ralph becomes a sly and pointed analysis of online life, where humans are reduced to blocky little avatars, easily guided to social media sites like BuzzTube (run by Henson as Yesss the approval algorithm). This is also when the real risk to Ralph and Vanellope's relationship appears, when they invade a Saints Row-esque crime game called Slaughter Race and Vanellope finds a new big-sister figure in cool-but-king gang leader Shank (Gadot).

When it's all about Ralph and Vanellope, Ralph Breaks the Internet is a solid addition to Disney's library of sad-sweet animated comedies. It's also during these sections when it takes its funniest jabs at online life and – in a surprising burst of humblebrag product placement – Disney even poking fun at its own grab bag of intellectual properties (Vanellope meeting the Disney princesses is one of the best scenes of the year, bar none, in any film released so far).

However, the script unfortunately replicates one of the worst errors in Toy Story 3: Sidelining just about every major supporting character from the early installments. A subplot of shoot-'em-up heroine Calhoun (Lynch) and Ralph's in-game frenemy Felix (McBrayer) adopting all the other race game refugees goes absolutely nowhere, save for one pretty spiffy joke that almost feels like a cop-out. However, they do give context to Ralph and Vanellope's relationship. The first movie just depended on them being misfit pals, but this time around there's a little more of an adoptive father-daughter connection, with Ralph having to deal with Vanellope growing up and moving away.

This also leads to what initially feels like Ralph's biggest failing: The lack of a real Disney villain. But then the script by co-director Johnston and Moana scribe Pamela Ribon is going for something a little subtler, about the damage we do to ourselves and to those we love by being too needy, too clingy. If only you could cheat code past those early expositional sequences.

For an interview with scriptwriter and former Austinite Pamela Ribon, read "Exploring Friendship in Ralph Breaks the Internet," Nov. 23.

Showtimes

Sat., Dec. 15

11:00am, 2:20, 5:30, 6:45, 9:50

Sun., Dec. 16

11:00am, 1:55, 5:30, 7:45, 10:45

Mon., Dec. 17

1:00, 3:55, 5:35, 7:50, 10:45

Tue., Dec. 18

3:45, 5:25, 7:50, 10:45
AFA 12:40

Sat., Dec. 15

10:35am, 1:30, 4:25, 7:20, 9:20

Sun., Dec. 16

10:00am, 12:55, 4:20, 7:50, 10:25

Mon., Dec. 17

1:10, 4:20, 6:20, 9:20

Tue., Dec. 18

2:55, 6:25, 10:00
AFA 11:55am

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sat., Dec. 15

1:45, 3:20, 6:30, 9:35
AFA 10:35am

Sun., Dec. 16

3:25, 6:30, 9:30
AFA 12:30

Mon., Dec. 17

11:35am, 2:55, 6:00, 9:05

Tue., Dec. 18

2:50, 6:00, 9:05
AFA 11:35am

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sat., Dec. 15

11:55am, 2:55, 6:30, 9:25

Sun., Dec. 16

12:00, 3:00, 4:35, 7:30, 9:25

Mon., Dec. 17

11:30am, 3:30, 6:00, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

2:45, 6:00, 10:00
AFA 11:40am

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 11:40am, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10, 10:50

Sun., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 11:40am, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10, 10:40

Mon., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 11:40am, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10

Tue., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 11:40am, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 10:20am, 1:30, 7:25, 10:25

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 10:15am, 1:05, 3:50

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 1:30, 2:00, 4:25, 7:25, 7:50, 10:25

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 1:30, 2:00, 4:25, 7:15, 7:50, 10:25

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 9:50am, 12:35, 3:25, 6:20, 9:10

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 9:50am, 12:35, 3:25, 6:20, 9:10

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 9:50am, 12:35, 3:25, 6:20, 9:10

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 9:50am, 12:35, 3:25, 6:20, 9:10

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 11:00am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:35

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 11:00am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:35

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 11:00am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:35

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 11:00am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:35

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 10:25am, 1:15, 4:05, 7:15, 10:05

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 10:25am, 1:15, 4:05, 7:15, 10:05

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 1:15, 4:05, 7:15, 10:05

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 1:15, 4:05, 7:15, 10:05

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Wed., Dec. 19

digital 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sat., Dec. 15

digital 12:15, 3:00, 7:00, 9:45

Sun., Dec. 16

digital 12:15, 3:00, 7:00

Mon., Dec. 17

digital 12:15, 3:00, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 18

digital 12:15, 3:00, 7:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sat., Dec. 15

10:35am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

Sun., Dec. 16

1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 17

1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

Wed., Dec. 19

1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sat., Dec. 15

11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:15, 10:00

Sun., Dec. 16

11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:15, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 17

11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:15, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:15, 10:00

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sat., Dec. 15

CC 10:20am, 2:00, 4:20, 8:45

Sun., Dec. 16

CC 10:30am, 2:00, 5:30, 8:45

Mon., Dec. 17

CC 10:30am, 2:00, 5:30, 8:45

Tue., Dec. 18

CC 10:45am, 2:00, 4:20, 5:30, 8:45

Wed., Dec. 19

CC 10:45am, 2:00, 5:30, 8:45

Thu., Dec. 20

CC 10:30am, 2:00, 5:00, 8:45

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC 12:15, 3:15, 6:10, 9:10, 11:50

Sun., Dec. 16

CC 12:15, 3:15, 6:10, 9:10

Mon., Dec. 17

CC 12:15, 3:15, 6:10, 9:10

Tue., Dec. 18

CC 12:15, 3:15, 6:10, 9:10

Wed., Dec. 19

CC 12:15, 3:15, 6:10, 9:10

Thu., Dec. 20

CC 12:15, 3:15, 7:10, 10:10

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Sun., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Wed., Dec. 19

CC/DVS 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Sat., Dec. 15

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10, 9:40

Sun., Dec. 16

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10

Mon., Dec. 17

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10

Tue., Dec. 18

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10

Wed., Dec. 19

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:10

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 10:10am, 12:50, 4:00, 5:00, 7:30, 9:30

Sun., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 11:00am, 12:30, 2:00, 5:00, 7:45

Mon., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 6:00, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 6:00, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 19

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 6:00, 7:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Sun., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Wed., Dec. 19

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Thu., Dec. 20

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:20, 7:05, 9:45

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sat., Dec. 15

10:45am, 2:50, 6:00, 10:25

Sun., Dec. 16

10:45am, 2:50, 6:00, 10:35

Mon., Dec. 17

10:45am, 2:50, 6:00, 10:35

Tue., Dec. 18

10:45am, 2:50, 6:00, 10:35

Wed., Dec. 19

11:50am, 2:55, 6:00, 9:05

Thu., Dec. 20

11:50am, 2:55, 6:00, 9:05

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sat., Dec. 15

12:30, 3:00, 3:55, 6:05, 10:30

Sun., Dec. 16

12:30, 3:00, 3:55, 6:05, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 17

12:30, 3:00, 3:55, 6:05, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 18

12:30, 3:00, 3:55, 6:05, 10:30

Wed., Dec. 19

11:30am, 2:45, 6:30, 9:15

Thu., Dec. 20

11:30am, 2:45, 7:30, 9:15

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Sat., Dec. 15

10:05am, 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 10:00

Sun., Dec. 16

10:05am, 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 17

10:05am, 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

10:05am, 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 10:00

Wed., Dec. 19

10:05am, 1:15, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Sat., Dec. 15

11:10am, 1:45, 4:25, 7:00, 9:40

Sun., Dec. 16

11:10am, 1:45, 4:25, 7:00

Mon., Dec. 17

1:45, 4:25, 7:00

Tue., Dec. 18

1:45, 4:25, 7:00

Wed., Dec. 19

11:00am, 1:40, 4:15, 7:00

Thu., Dec. 20

11:00am, 1:40, 4:15

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Sat., Dec. 15

3-D 10:45am, 1:25, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15

Sun., Dec. 16

3-D 10:45am, 1:25, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15

Mon., Dec. 17

3-D 12:50, 2:30, 4:00, 5:10, 7:50

Tue., Dec. 18

3-D 12:50, 2:30, 4:00, 5:10, 7:50

Sat., Dec. 15

11:00am, 4:30, 7:30, 9:45

Sun., Dec. 16

11:25am, 4:30, 7:30, 9:45

Mon., Dec. 17

11:25am, 4:30, 7:30, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 18

11:25am, 4:30, 7:30, 9:45

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Sat., Dec. 15

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Sun., Dec. 16

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Mon., Dec. 17

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Tue., Dec. 18

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Wed., Dec. 19

11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:45

Thu., Dec. 20

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sat., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:45, 4:30, 7:15, 9:55

Sun., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 11:25am, 2:00, 4:35, 7:25, 10:00

Tue., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:35

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READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Ralph Breaks the Internet, Phil Johnston, Rich Moore

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