14 Dec

Wreck-It Ralph

They invited Pac-Man? That cherry-chasing dot-muncher isn’t even part of this game!

-Wreck-It Ralph

With the new Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet out and in the world, we thought it would be fun to watch the original movie. After all, we all like video games, and we’re not ones to turn our noses up to an animated movie out of hand. We also thought the visual aesthetic was interesting: since it takes place inside an arcade game, they make use of bright colors and fantastic landscapes. The primary location where Wreck it Ralph takes place is Sugar Rush, a fictional racing game that takes place in, essentially, Candy Land. We were also interested in the premise: that a character who has the exterior trappings of a ‘bad guy’ can actually turn out to be very different from his appearance. With those two ideas in mind, we picked our food theme: food that looks like candy but is actually real food. Yes, that’s an official Munch hot take – candy is not food.

The Food

Sugar Rush provides a lot of visual options to take inspiration from and one of the first things we locked on to was the idea of peppermint wheels, and the classic red and white stripes that define their look. We made Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Feta with Honey to complete the peppermint wheel look, which works wonderfully into the pink and green theme that is so prominent in Sugar Rush.

Now stay with us on this one because perhaps the end result is farther away from the idea we had for it than we wanted but we wanted to take inspiration from chocolate candy bar’s and the delicious caramel that can ooze out of them, but do so on a bigger level. The result is a Candy Bar Meat Loaf that is wrapped in bacon with an ooey-gooey cheesey center. Of course you slather it with a Ketchup sauce as an attempt to mimic the chocolate on a candy bar. Well, visually, they can’t all be winners, but this was still a treat to eat.

And to wrap it all up, we did actual candy. Released from the shackles of having to make savory foods look like candy we were free to just make candy. We made some delicious grapefruit Pâte de Fruit that we have taken to calling Sugar Rush Pâte de Fruit given that they are basically 100% sugar. But these delicious morsels are something else. They kind of melt away in your mouth and then provide a quick dose of grapefruit flavor that was always a surprise.

The Drink

We felt it was important to stick with the sugar and candy theme so we made very sugary drinks. Life imitates art, right? So these layered Strawberry Lemonade Slushies were sure to give us the sugar rush we were looking for.  On the bottom you have a layer of pineapple slushy, followed by strawberry, and then topped with lemonade all with citrus vodka mixed in. We tend to like more balanced drinks here at Munch, but we can’t say we are above getting down with these multi-layered delights.

The Rules

We picked two very prolific rules that negated the need for our usual third:

🎮  Drink for every video game reference.

💥  Drink when Ralph wrecks it.

The Movie

Wreck-it Ralph was, in a word, disappointing. It’s fair to say that, as video game fans, we were all looking forward to watching Wreck-it Ralph. The general consensus on the Internet is that Ralph is a fun movie, and we had received multiple word-of-mouth recommendations as well, but we’re here to tell you everyone is wrong. Wreck-it Ralph is no good.

We’re definitely a secondary audience for Wreck-it Ralph. It’s clearly a kid’s movie and doesn’t have the heart or depth of a Pixar film. But we don’t think it’s a good kid’s movie. There’s a lot of bullying and name-calling in it, even among friends, which is definitely sending the wrong message to kids. You shouldn’t be calling your friends names, even in jest. They probably don’t like it.

So, now that our problem with how the film speaks to its primary audience is out of the way, let’s talk about what it is supposed to be doing for us: the old school video game fans watching this movie for the references. Let us set the record straight: there are practically no real ‘references’ in Wreck-it Ralph. Let us give you an example of a Wreck-it Ralph version of a reference: obtaining the rights to Sonic the Hedgehog, animating him and his rival Dr. Eggman, and… having neither of them talk or interact with other characters at all. They’re only on screen for a second each. There is no payoff, no real reason for them to be there. Hell, Sonic wasn’t even an arcade game and these are all supposed to be arcade characters! It’s like they made these references exclusively to stick in trailers to sell the movie to suckers like us. 

So, in closing, we can’t recommend Wreck-It Ralph. If you want references, go see Ready Player One. If you want a kids movie, pick any Pixar movie. If you want to watch a garbage movie, well, then, have we got a movie for you!

The Reviews

Andre: 8.0. Terrible. (I’m using the standard video game scale of 7 to 10 here, where a 7 is literally unplayable, 8 is bad, 9 is good, and a 10 is a flawed masterpiece). I thought Wreck-It Ralph was just okay. I chuckled a few times, I got a few adrenaline rushes when I saw characters I recognized from my favorite games, but I couldn’t have cared less about the characters, and I thought the plot was dumb.

Leanna: I want my quarters back. This is not a good movie! I really strongly disliked it, and don’t understand what all the hype is about. The line that I still think about and that I think signifies the moment I officially gave up on the film is when Ralph tells Vanellope that everyone will like her because she’s pretty. This is not a great message! Also, and I have this problem with a lot of “kid’s” movies, there is an excessive amount of name calling and unnecessary violence that just really started to wear on me and made me dislike all the characters. I have zero interest in the new film now.

Ben: 60%. Throughout my entire time watching Wreck-It Ralph, I couldn’t but help but list in my mind the many ways the film struck me as being (and I know this isn’t very descriptive but it’s all I can think of to describe it) weird. It is a weird mishmash of visual styles and themes, all of them purposeful but some excelling (the Fix-It Felix game) and some leaving something to be desired (Sugar Rush and Hero’s Duty). It has a weird conversational pace for a kid’s movie whose banter is quick and witty but also at times more word soup perceived to be genius slights. And it is the deluge of slights and name-calling that feels weird as well. In my experience watching the film, friendships often felt combative or antagonistic and it left me kind of uneasy with a lot of the characters presented in the film. And while the core themes of friendship and appreciating those who may be different from you are great values to portray in the film, it is just one flavor in the two-flavor swirl that is this film. All of this is to say, I came away from Wreck-It Ralph without any strong feelings for or against it in any way. The storyline was predictable, and the few laughs that I did have were largely around the visual gags based around video game mechanics or styles. The rest of the film happens and you go along for the ride, and then it finishes, and then you move on with your life. Which I guess is fine?