Ratchet and Clank, two of PlayStation's most iconic characters, finally made their movie debut. On paper, it seems like a sure fire hit: take a video game that already has the look and feel of animated film and make it into one, while staying true to its source material. Look how charming its characters are, how witty its jokes are, and the endless amount of story possibilities in the universe it created -- you can make a good movie out of that.
However, there's a difference between potential and execution, and that's where the Ratchet and Clank movie starts to fall apart. It's by no means a bad film, but Ratchet and Clank isn't gonna break the movie-game curse.
Retelling the first game, Ratchet is a small time mechanic who dreams to be part of the Galactic Rangers -- heroes who protect the galaxy, lead by Captain Qwark (who Ratchet Idolizes). When a ship crashes down near him, with a little robot named Clank, Ratchet must team up with his new friend and get the Galactic Rangers to help them save the Universe from Evil Chairman Dreck. Sounds simple, right?
At it's best, Ratchet and Clank is a harmless, inoffensive animated film that doesn't do anything new or unique with it's clichés. There's some funny jokes, some charming characters, and a couple of winking nodes to fans. But a lot of what Ratchet and Clank does, you've seen done better and more uniquely in dozens of other films.
If anything, the movie feels shallow in it's execution. There's little emotional attachment to these characters, unless your a fan or a young kid. That doesn't mean the characters are bad -- most of them are fun and charming individuals, but there's no sense of growth or development for any of them.
That being said, the acting is still pretty solid. Paul Giamatti is clearly having fun as Chairman Dreck, even if it is a little over-the-top. Bella Thorne and Rosaria Dawson do well as the film's two female casts, the straight face battle and the tech support. And while John Goodman and Sylvester Stallone aren't in it for much, they still do good jobs. Fans will also like that James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, and Armin Shimerman reprise their roles from the games.
There's a few plot points (like Victor Von Ion's beef with Clank and inexplicable inaction) that don't make that much sense and some of the humor is really, really cringe worthy. Without spoiling too much, a lot of the minions and henchmen in the movie mostly think that doing things like shouting every line is funny, and there's a really unfunny running gag where some of them will be caught texting in the middle of one of Dreck's speeches. Hilarious.
Animation wise, Ratchet and Clank is well made and beautify put together. The worlds and characters look great, and the art design is creative. But, there are times where you can tell that there were some budget issues, particularly in the action scenes. Where robots should blow up into pieces, smoke seems cover them because the animators didn't have the money to animate them. The special effects in the fights aren't all that impressive either, again probably due to budget issues. It still good animation, but one that isn't that impressive.
And that's Ratchet and Clanks biggest problem, it just isn't very impressive. It's clear that a lot of love and hard work went into making it and staying faithful to its roots, but it just doesn't doing anything to stand out from the crowd. If you're a fan of Ratchet and Clank, it's worth checking out when it's on Home Video But, there isn't much reason to see it on the big screen, even if it's at a discount price.
At least there's 3 more chances at a good video game movie this year. Maybe?