Shortly after being rejected from joining an intergalactic police academy, adventure-seeker Ratchet returns home defeated. The small, cat-like alien sits outside the garage he works at, worried he’ll be stuck there his entire life. He stares silently at the planets in the night sky, yearning for adventure, wondering what the galaxy holds.
This is one of only a few scenes in 90 minutes of “Ratchet and Clank” that has any depth.
The animated sci-fi adventure tells the story of Ratchet, an alien who dreams of becoming a hero adored by many. When a robot named Clank crash-lands near his home and warns of a plot to destroy the galaxy, Ratchet believes he’s found his calling. The two then team up and embark on a quest to save the day.
Ratchet and Clank made their debut in 2002 with a video game of the same name. It was released for Playstation 2, and spawned multiple sequels which have received critical praise.
The film retells the first game in the series, with most of the original voice actors from the game returning to portray their characters.
James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye voice Ratchet and Clank respectively, and are easily the best part of the movie. Their two distinct personalities, Ratchet being the act-first-think-later type, and Clank the intelligent, think-before-you-leap type, lead to some entertaining banter, and this is where the film succeeds most.
Unfortunately, the film fails in almost every other aspect, the worst offender being the writing. While the original game was praised for its humor, the movie is virtually humorless.
Most of the comedy boils down to simple slapstick. Someone falls down, gets hurt or acts dumb. The occasional clever joke slips by, usually referencing the original video game, but these are few and far between.
Most of the characters are one-dimensional, their personality and humor based entirely off of a basic personality trait. This is most evident with Captain Qwark. Voiced by Jim Ward, Qwark teams up with Ratchet and Clank and is the most annoying character out of the cast. His humor is based off of his simple-minded arrogance, and as time goes by, it becomes more and more grating on the viewer.
The animation is pretty subpar as well. Outside the title characters, everything and everyone has a lifeless look to it. The locations are generic looking and background characters are incredibly similar. Compared to other major animated releases this year, such as Disney’s “Zootopia” or Dreamworks’ “Kung Fu Panda 3,” “Ratchet and Clank” looks like it has no business on the big screen.
“Ratchet and Clank” is a misfire on multiple cylinders. While younger kids and the most hardcore of fans might enjoy the simple humor and nostalgia the film has to offer, those unfamiliar with the games should steer clear of “Ratchet and Clank,” and the galaxy it resides in.