The Disney sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet already flexed some of its access and imaginative abilities when it put out a viral clip featuring a slew of Disney princesses poking fun at the company’s history of questionable behavior toward its women. But after some great first reactions, the reviews are finally out for the John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman-starring romp through the interwebs — and they’re just as stellar as fans might expect.
These reviews, which are excerpted below, bolster The Hollywood Reporter’s predictions that Ralph Breaks the Internet will win out the Thanksgiving weekend box office by a large margin. With the by-all-accounts good but differently targeted Creed II and the dismal Robin Hood as its new competition, while only really facing the tepidly received Crimes of Grindelwald as a holdover from last week, the animated sequel is tracking at around $67 million - $75 million for the long weekend. This matches with early estimates, adding on a bit more to the haul from the good reviews.
The film, which features a Stan Lee cameo among many, many other references, has won over the hearts of plenty of critics. Let’s hear from them:
The New York Times’ Bilge Ebiri calls Phil Johnston and Rich Moore’s film “a terrifying, incisive satire about the ways that a life lived online makes monsters of us all.” But don’t worry, it also has plenty of “ornate imagery and deliriously irreverent humor” to mask its more sinister implications about surfing the web. However, hitting both the good aspects of the internet and those that can be pandering, cruel, or addictive is what gives the new Wreck-It Ralph film its powerful punch, the critic says.
Deadline’s Pete Hammond ignores much of the subtext, instead focusing on how the film is stuffed with “very fun stuff, even if in the final third it gets a little too frenetic.” Hammond calls the scene with the princesses “worth the price of admission all by itself,” then moves on to praise the performances of Reilly, Silverman, and co-stars Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson. With impeccable voice work and plenty of self-depreciating cleverness, the film holds up to the original.
Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly agrees, though she notes that “Ralph Breaks the Internet isn’t the most responsible PG movie on the market.” Where Ebiri found a cautionary tale of too much computer time, Reinstein sees an online wonderland ready to seduce kids to “log on and play for as long as they want from wherever they want.” However, she also praises Gadot’s supporting turn and the princesses, a scene that is “hilarious and hype-justified,” ultimately finding the film full of “winning life lessons about the pitfalls of insecurity and the importance of letting friends achieve their dreams.”
EW’s Dana Schwartz writes that Ralph Breaks the Internet is actually better than the original. Her review explains that the follow-up is “ambitious, beautifully animated, and clever to a fault,” factors that may make the princess scene feel a bit “shoehorned” but still fun. And yes, the internet jokes won’t age well. In fact, they may already be too aged in the film. That said, a love of meta-gags and references never takes away from what Schwartz calls “a fundamentally good movie.”
Ralph Breaks the Internet (and the holiday weekend) starting on Nov. 21.