Movies that are made about video games usually tend to under-perform for the studios; both critically and financially, these movies do not live to meet expectations. Usually, these video game adaptations are done in live action, but what if there is the possibility that a video game movie is done in animation. Enter the film “Ratchet & Clank”, an adaptation of the video game series of the same name. And the final result is… eh. Having not played the games, one might go in blind without doing any previous research on the subject, and you will see that this is just a generic science fiction movie like most films of that genre. There are some good things about this film, but the bad more than outweighs the good. “Ratchet & Clank” is an interesting adaptation, but it seems to get lost in its own universe.
The plot of the movie is a retelling of the first video game; but it introduces some new viewers to this strange and bizarre world. Ratchet is a lombax- a sort of bobcat-like creature- who wants to join the Galactic Rangers, who are like interstellar police. Ratchet is determined to join, despite the leader, Captain Qwark, being a narcissistic jerk. One night, Ratchet then witnesses something falling from the sky, and goes to investigate. A small little robot, whom Ratchet names Clank comes out and tells him that an evil threat is coming to destroy the entire galaxy. Now, Ratchet and Clank must join the Galactic Rangers in order to stop this threat once and for all.
“Ratchet & Clank” is mixed at best. Let’s start off with the bad stuff first. For one thing, the pacing is incredibly rushed, making it to understand what exactly is going on. There’s also these “Star Wars” style wipes, and they are used almost constantly throughout the entire production. Then there is the story; while it’s not bad, it feels like any ordinary science fiction story that’s been done before. Again, referencing “Star Wars”, the whole plot of the movie involves some heroes stopping a machine that obliterates planets. Kind of like the Death Star. The music’s not memorable, but there is nothing really spectacular about it either. Then there is the main problem: the whole movie feels a little too much like the video games. In fact, the whole film could be labeled as one giant cut-scene without any gameplay involved. There are moments when the viewer could point out which moments are the action sequences, and which moments are the boss fights. It’s pretty generic and predictable, to say the least.
Now, onto the good things about the movie. For instance, the characters are all likable and memorable, and they have some good funny moments here and there. The voice cast does a good job with what material they are given. Even celebrities like Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, and Sylvester Stallone do good performances with their characters. And of course, the voice actors from the games like David Kaye and Jim Ward, reprise their roles with unique sophistication given to them. And then there’s the animation, which looks really good, and even looks like a Pixar production. All of the character designs look great, and the action set pieces look good as well. This is an animated movie that more than definitely brings out the eye candy.
But it still feels like one big cut-scene.
In the end, “Ratchet & Clank” is a nice animated film based off a video game, but maybe next time, try to have the finished product not feel like the video game.