Ralph Breaks the Internet 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The success of WRECK IT RALPH in 2012 was due to a number of factors, but most notably it’s references to famous, nostalgic arcade games. Couple that with some fish-out-of-water comedy and a deeper theme about knowing and finding yourself and you have an instant animated hit. Of course, no successful animated movie survives long without a sequel and so in 2018 we got RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET. I had very low expectations for the sequel and at the risk of offending the film’s fans, the sequel met my low expectations.
Now that they’re best friends, Ralph (Reilly) and Vanellope (Silverman) are bored in their video game world. Things take an unexpected twist when Sugar Rush breaks down and the part is too expensive to repair. This sets Vanellope and Ralph to go to the internet to find the replacement part on eBay and restore their normal lives. But it turns out you need money to buy things on eBay and the only way the two of them can earn some money is to find and sell hidden object within games, the most valuable of which is a car from the game Slaughter Race. Unfortunately for them, the car is protected by the wordly-wise Shank (Gadot).
The premise of the original was that Ralph was unhappy always being the villain and forced to break things. The sequel does sort of the same thing and makes Vanellope sick of racing around Sugar Rush. Her boredom, along with the desire to fix her game, is what drives the plot of RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET forward. The problem is that the sequel lacks a lot of the fun and heart of the original and the internet world that Disney created feels surprisingly boring given the possibilities. What’s worse is that it feels like shameless product marketing for the big internet companies. Granted, you can’t have a movie about the internet without featuring Facebook, Twitter and Google, but given the unlimited possibilities, I would have hoped Disney could be a little more creative. Also, THE EMOJI MOVIE created an eerily similar world and premise a year earlier, but they didn’t have trusty Disney characters to fall back on.
The highlight of the film was Vanellope’s time with the Disney princesses. Rumors are swirling now that there could be a possible spin-off with the princesses and I’d be okay with that. But in the context of a Ralph movie, their inclusion seemed odd and out of place. Sure, it may have been the highlight, but it still didn’t feel like it belonged. That could be said for many parts of the film where things went from plot point to plot point without driving much character development. As for the new characters, Shank was one dimensional and felt like something a teenager would create if you asked them to draw a tough female character. The other new characters, like Yess and Spamley were riffs on various internet staples and offered nothing of value to the film.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET isn’t the kind of sequel that ups the quality from the original, but it adequately continues the adventures of Ralph and Vanellope to the point fans of the original should be pleased. If you were neutral (or worse) on the original, then you won’t find anything in this one to make you a fan.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I may be in the minority, but I stand by the notion that animated films don’t get much of an upgrade on 4K. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET is no exception as the film has some modest improvements, mostly in color definition, but it also looks darker than its Blu-ray counterpart. Aside from some color improvements, the detail and clarity improvements are very subtle. Obviously, the 4K presentation is better, but it’s only a slight improvement.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is efficient, but I have to admit I was slightly disappointed in some instances, particularly during the race scenes. When compared to a similar scene in READY PLAYER ONE, it’s lacking, especially in the use of surround channels.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which has the following special features:
Deleted Scenes (19:05): Five scenes in various stages of development. These are okay, but nothing that was missed from the finished product.
How We Broke the Internet (33:00): I was hoping for a more general making-of feature, but instead this one breaks down about 9 different scenes and talks about how they were made.
The Music of Ralph Breaks the Internet (10:05): The music in the film gets its own feature.
Music Videos and Cat Videos