Sunday, 16 December 2018

Disney goes inside video game world

ANYONE over the age of 30 may struggle to get to grips with the subject matter of this latest Disney

ANYONE over the age of 30 may struggle to get to grips with the subject matter of this latest Disney film, released on cue for the half-term break, as it’s all about characters in a video game.

For most kids these days, gaming is as much a part of their world as skipping or British bulldog was to their grandparents, and it surely wasn’t going to be too long before Hollywood executives realised what a smart idea it would be to make a movie based on animated characters from a computer game coming to life — a kind of upbeat, more technical version of Toy Story for 2013.

There have been one or two fairly disappointing attempts in the past to make video games into movies. The difference with Wreck-It Ralph is that it is not a movie about a computer game, it is actually a video game itself — with all the sound effects and jokes and paraphernalia that go with the genre.

Ralph is a video game baddie, but he’s fed-up with his typecasting, and of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, the “good guy” who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides to take matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

Ralph is voiced by John C Reilly, the American movie actor famed for also being a Bluegrass singer and comedian, and apparently makes a very lovable huggy bear, while his enemy Fix-It Felix is played by Jack McBrayer.

Director Rich Moore has plenty of comedy experience as he started his career working on TV hit The Simpsons, so there are sure to be laughs for adults as well as kids in this movie.

But what makes this film stand out, according to critics, is the fact that this takes you visually inside a computer game, with all those bright, candyfloss graphics and the kind of shoot-em-up pace that is breathtaking.

There are probably some computer-game-geeky adults out there who will want to go and see this film anyway, even if they don’t have a child to accompany, but for those who are looking for more grown-up entertainment, the Regal is replaying some of the movie hits of the past year in the run-up to the Oscars. Great news for those who missed them first time round or who want a second viewing.

The biggest of these is Argo (15) which chronicles the rescue of six American hostages from Iran in 1979. Ben Affleck directs and stars, and this film has won the UK regional critics’ film of the year award.

Also showing next week are Silver Linings Playbook (15) and Amour (12A), both of which have received much critical acclaim.

Film: Wreck-It Ralph Certificate: (PG)

Released: February 8

Director: Rich Moore

Voices of: John C Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Jack McBrayer

Lesley Potter

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