Ratchet & Clank (DVD) Review
- Fast paced action
- Bold and bright visuals (if a little mid-tier)
- Captures the Ratchet & Clank universe well
- Reasonable voice work that's solid, if not spectacular
Not so much?
- Plot and pacing is all over the place - the movie plays out despite of it
- An awful lot of stale or bad jokes - likely 1 in 5 hit the mark
- Very generic and doesn't make good use of the license and world at hand
As a fan it will go into my “I like this because I’m familiar with the franchise” pile of video game movies but as a stand alone title it does little to make itself memorable.
atchet & Clank have always been firm favourites of mine. Ever since they won me over with their debut on the PS2 (I wanted more Spyro!) their blend of wacky comedy, buddy romp and overblown arsenal was hard to resist. As well all know, video game movies pretty much blow… No, no, I know a few exceptions are watchable and fan favourites but they’re not that way because they’re fantastic films. They’re passable because we like the source material. Games spent years cribbing notes from the movie industry and other media, none more so than Ratchet & Clank borrowing heavily from comic books, action movies and big screen cartoons. The movie follows loosely the plot of the very first game. Ratchet is a gifted, but reckless, mechanic and possibly the last of his species (The Lombax). He dreams of becoming an Intergalactic Space Ranger like his hero Captain Quark. When Warbot reject Clank suddenly falls to the planet surface the two team up to bring the news of an impending invasion by Chairman Drek to the Rangers. Now the plot is fairly thin, I mean it’s a video game plot from an action platformer, yet Ratchet and Clank always had a reasonable story and great sense of comedy timing. It also brought almost movie levels of animation to the bright cartoonish worlds developer Insomniac created. So transitioning this to a cartoon would’ve been a no-brainer in many respects. The bright worlds and fast paced action do translate very well to the big screen (well, smaller screen in the case of this DVD release) but when stacked up against the recently release Ratchet & Clank video game the visuals look sparse and in many instances you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching an extended cutscene from the game. Voice work is good, but the script is all over the shop. The core buddy elements between Ratchet and Clank seem to phase in and out throughout the 90 minute running time and I feel a lot of the backstory of these two well loved characters is missing from the movie. It works great as a series of bright and loud events strung together, but it rarely feels a cohesive whole. Final Thoughts Fans of the games will at least get a kick out of seeing the world come to life here and kids will like the fast pace and bountiful action. Yet when all is said and done this does nothing to progress the link between video games and movies. The plot bumbles along driven by necessity rather than the characters and many of the jokes are either stale (like hashtagging things) or will pass most people by (like Sly Cooper appearing on the list of known species). So Ratchet & Clank falls firmly into the realms of mediocre. As a fan it will go in to my “I like this because I’m familiar with the franchise” pile of video game movies but as a stand alone title it does little to make itself memorable.