‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’
Ralph’s best buddy Vanellope is bored. She’s the star of the video arcade’s game, Sugar Rush, and wins every race.
Ralph — wanting to do something nice for her — creates a new track. It causes the real-life woman playing the game to break the steering wheel. A replacement is $200. The owner won’t replace it and is going to junk the game.
Vanellope is crushed. She’ll no longer have anywhere to live. Nor will she be able to do what she does best. That’s race.
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Ralph remembers hearing something about eBay. He and Vanellope jump into a Wi-Fi connection and head for eBay to see if they can get one for less. Not understanding how bidding works, and thinking numbers are just numbers, they end up bidding many thousands of dollars for the steering wheel.
No spoiler from me. I’ll let the Internet do that for you.
Ralph and Vanellope have to stay in the Internet to figure out how to pay it off. Along the way, Ralph ends up causing a total crash of the Internet.
Directors Phil Johnson (who wrote “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Zootopia”) and Rich Moore (the director of “Zootopia” and “Wreck-It Ralph”) didn’t wreck Ralph’s sequel, nor did they break it.
However, outside of a funny scene or two, their film isn’t up to the fun of the original. The kid or grandkid tugging at your pant leg begging to see it will like it a lot. You will not.
Adults, you can nod off through most of it, but there are two things that make “Ralph Breaks the Internet” worth seeing.
The first is the imagination of the writers and two directors. Their vision of the Internet and how it works is terrific. That will elicit a laugh or two.
The second is a scene involving Vanellope and Disney’s plethora of princesses ranging from Snow White to Moana. It is very clever and — in places — laugh-out-loud funny.
Other than that, the movie is pretty so-so.
My biggest complaint about “Ralph Breaks the Internet” has to do with the film’s length. What’s with Disney lately? The studio’s last kiddie movie, “Incredibles 2,” pushed two hours. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” makes you wade through close to two.
Since most of these films draw small, wiggly, easily bored children – and some easily bored adults and movie critics – the optimal length is 90 minutes. In “Ralph’s” case, it has 30 minutes of extra, not-needed padding.
Rated PG for mature themes. It’s playing at the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s, at the AMC Classic Kennewick 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5
“Creed II” is an overworked premise that — itself — gets overworked.
Or, to put it another way, “Creed II” is a film from a series of movies that started in 1976 and has now become as punch drunk as the boxers who dot the landscape of the way-too-many sequels.
Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s nemesis and later best friend. In the previous film, he failed to gain the heavyweight championship. This one starts with Creed winning the championship. Later comes the challenge from Ivan Drago’s son Viktor.
For those not knowing, the elder Drago killed Creed’s dad in “Rocky IV.” Adonis wants to avenge his father via defeating Drago’s kid. Or some such thing.
This one is a total soap opera.
To start with, “Creed II” has six writers. You’ve never heard of four of them. The two you have are Sylvester Stallone and Ryan Coogler, who directed the original. They wrote the screenplay. It has Stallone’s mark everywhere. The writing is overdone, the dialogue stiff and the story bloated. Trim the fat from 2:10 to about 1:45, and this might be a good movie.
At that length, it is not.
What makes “Creed II,” “Creed” and all of the Rocky movies palatable is Rocky Balboa. Yes, the boxing stunts are terrific — and even fun — but it’s the lovable pug Rocky who anchors the love we have of these films.
Other than the first Rocky, he’s the main reason I liked any of the sequels, “Creed,” and — alas — the main reason I even thought about seeing “Creed II.” The 2015 flick saw Stallone pick up a deserved best supporting actor Golden Globe and come close to grabbing an Oscar.
Stallone is about the only thing to like about “Creed II” and — for once — even he’s not that likable.
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and some violence. It’s playing at the AMC Classic Kennewick 12, at the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5