Although younger viewers might enjoy what Ratchet & Clank has to offer, animation enthusiasts will have no trouble finding better offerings in both the cinema or streaming services.
Although one of the most popular 3D platformers during the PlayStation 2 era, there hasn’t been a Ratchet & Clank game for quite some time. But 2016 is the year when Sony decided to bring back the franchise with a remake of the first Ratchet & Clank and a CGI movie that retells the story of the charming characters. Although younger viewers might enjoy what Ratchet & Clank has to offer, animation enthusiasts will have no trouble finding better offerings in both the cinema or streaming services.
The plot might seem familiar to those who remember playing the Ratchet & Clank games on the PlayStation 2. Planets have been disappearing so a team force known as the Galactic Rangers are looking for a fifth member to protect their against potential invaders. Ratchet, a not so gifted mechanic living in a small town in the middle of nowhere, is looking forward to filling that spot, but he’s rejected by the group force he admires the most. Eventually, Ratchet meets Clank, a defective robot that was built to assassinate the galactic Rangers, but is discarded for being good-natured and kind. The duo sets out to warn the Galactic Rangers of an imminent attack so that they can prepare against the invasion. This takes the unlikely duo on a larger-than-life adventure where they’ll prove that they can do.
If the story sounds generic, that’s because it is. There’s nothing particularly fresh or innovative about the plot and this is one of the departments where I felt like I have been there before. This is a shallow animated movie that has nothing new to offer to the genre (that includes both video game movies and computer animated.) To be clear, this isn’t a bad movie, but if you want to embark on an adventure with a charming robot and a nimble Lombax, you should stick to the PlayStation 4 game.
The CGI looks absolutely stunning and the characters and settings you might remember from the games are well-represented here, but some of those elements come with a caveat. Take the Captain Quark character, for instance, he’s so talkative and egotistical that he’s more annoying than funny and he’s a prominent part of the movie. Other than him, the characters are extremely charming, but laughs are few and far between. There are several jokes, but most of them feel forced and fall flat as a consequence.
But the worst part about the movie is that it’s plain and boring. For a movie that’s called Ratchet & Clank, Captain Quark has a lot of screen time and he’s extremely annoying. In some parts nothing really happens. It also doesn’t take any risks with these characters, this is just a retelling of the story of the games and that’s about it and while there are some secondary characters and ideas here and there, this is a predictable and plain animated movie.
The breathtaking animation and the charm of the franchise are definitely here, but the Ratchet and clank movie lacks humor, there are pacing problems and the story’s too predictable at times. It’s charming and it can be entertaining at times, but Ratchet & Clank is also lacking in certain departments. And that’s a shame.