WRECK-IT RALPH directed by Rich Moore, written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston, with the voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch. A Disney release. 93 minutes. Opens Friday (November 2). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Wreck-It Ralph is basically a coin-op version of Shrek, in which the eponymous video game heavy upends his comfortable but unfulfilling existence when he leaves his Donkey Kong knock-off game to find out what being a good guy feels like.
Director Rich Moore has the same fondness for video games that Toy Story's John Lasseter has for kids' playsets. And John C. Reilly is perfectly cast as the ogre-like Ralph, forever being shown up by the plucky, endlessly optimistic Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer).
The movie's structure is loose and lumpy, surging ahead when Ralph ventures into the hell of a Halo-style first-person shooter and then dragging when he reaches a candyland racing game where he has to help a misfit girl (Sarah Silverman) qualify for competition.
The leisurely pace lets Reilly and Silverman have some lovely scenes together even as we're restless for the plot to pick up again. Once it does, though, Wreck-It Ralph is an awfully satisfying ride.