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'Wreck-It Ralph': Is the video game send-up worth seeing?

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Despite what the trailers might have indicated, knowledge of video games is not a prerequisite for appreciating Wreck-It-Ralph. Gamers will find plenty of tantalizing in-jokes (some subtle, some not-so-subtle) but, even though there are numerous easter eggs to relish, the core storyline centers around a straightforward character journey. For years, Wreck-It-Ralph (John C. Reilly) has diligently served as the antagonist to video game do-gooder, Fix-It-Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer). Although Ralph shares a healthy working relationship with Felix, he has grown tired of being treated like a villain after work hours and in an effort to win favor from the other characters in his game, Wreck-It-Ralph jumps into another title, Hero’s Duty, where he intends to win a medal that will prove bad guys can also be good guys.

In his attempt at heroism, Ralph inadvertently lands in Sugar Rush, a kid-friendly kart racing title, and falls victim to the wiles of Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a 9-year-old racer outcast, and is forced to help the girl win an upcoming competition – in exchange for his precious medal. Although, as the pair prepare for the race, they stumble upon a mysterious plot that threatens the entire arcade, forcing Ralph to confront what it really means to be a good guy.

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