Wreck-It Ralph

Rated 3.0

The villain in a classic 1980s videogame (voice by John C. Reilly) gets tired of being the bad guy, but his efforts to prove himself a good guy end up jeopardizing every game in the arcade. This animated feature has a lot going for it: clever writing in the early scenes, good voice work (Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch—even the usually annoying Jack McBrayer), and brilliant animation that wittily spoofs the evolution of vid-game graphics over the past 30 years (the design of the climactic Sugar Rush game is particularly clever). But the story dissolves into a puddle of familiar to-thine-own-self-be-true bromides, and from there, it becomes a matter of been here, played this. Not a bad time killer, but with a bit more sustained inspiration, this might have been a classic, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit.