Ratchet & Clank review
What inspires a studio to take interest in a movie based off a video game? Last years Hitman: Agent 47 only proved that the people hired behind these projects have a hard time with adaptation. I’ve said before that the problem lies within not the side characters, but with the main character. In a video game, there isn’t supposed to be much of a personality to people like Super Mario and those from Mortal Kombat because you are supposed to be that person. In a movie, the main character not only needs to have a personality, but it’s the film’s job to keep it’s audience invested enough to make us want to follow them for an hour and a half.
Because there are so many video games (not to mention more adaptations this year with the upcoming The Angry Birds Movie and Assassins Creed), Hollywood will keep trying to find a way to properly adapt the difficult medium. Today’s subject marks it the first time a Playstation series has been given the film treatment. I’ve never played it before, but when the Ratchet & Clank games become big sellers, it’s no wonder a film would eventually happen. Going all in as an animated movie, let’s see if Ratchet & Clank has the right tools to work.
On the planet Veldin, a cat-like creature humanoid Ratchet (played by James Arnold Taylor) is a mechanic who is often trying out over-the-top designs on spacecrafts while desiring more in life. Though his boss/mentor Grimroth (played by John Goodman) tells him to get back to work, Ratchet sees on TV that due to the recent planets being blown up by aliens lead by Chairman Drek (played by Paul Giamatti) and Doctor Nefarious (played by Armin Shimerman), the Glalactic Rangers are now looking for a fifth member to join up. Ratchet goes to try out, but is turned away by Ranger leader Captain Qwark for being too short and unpredictable.
Meanwhile, Chairman Drek is working on a robot army to assist, but a defect-bot named Clank (played by David Kaye) manages to escape and crash-lands a ship to where Ratchet is. Ratchet pulls Clank out in time and repairs him. Both agree to go where the Rangers are to warm them of more impending attacks. The two fight off Drek’s army and are hired into the Rangers where they plan their next move to defeat the villains.
Does Ratchet & Clank make for a proper movie adaptation? Well…at the best, I can say that Ratchet & Clank is a movie. Too bad it isn’t a good one. In fact for the first twenty minutes, I was starting to get a feel for this far out space adventure. Once Ratchet and Clank meet and pair up, it become what has to be an auto-piloted formula to qualify as a movie. Everything in Ratchet & Clank feels so safe and inoffensive that I question why this even needs a major theatrical release. I can see more this as a Nickelodeon TV movie that’s pilot for a series.
I can’t completely say that nothing went into this. The script given here tries to have fun with it’s concept and throws a ton of jokes. I even laughed a few times. The animation can be colorful and nice too (though some design can look inconsistent). But it’s everything else, especially the main character Ratchet, which feels like something that we’ve seen in a ton of movies already. Just how many more times can you hear the “I’m tired of this boring life and I want more” speech that seems only be found in bad children’s films?
I’ll give this two and a half Ratchet & Clank PlayStation games out of five. At best, it’s a kids movie that’ll likely be entertaining for parents that simply want something in the background. At worse, it’s an unoriginal and rarely funny space opera that adds nothing to the genre. I’ll guess that the movie follows the game well, but all it does for me is to make me rather play the game then anything. Unless you have little ones or are fans of the series, I’d say Ratchet & Clank is a skip.