Ratchet and Clank Could Be a Lot Tighter
It’s a movie based on a video game that has rebooted with a video game based on the movie. It’s a little difficult to wrap your head around but the film isn’t. The Ratchet and Clank movie came out of nowhere and it’ll probably go unnoticed by the general public, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. That doesn’t mean it’s good either though. When the original games for PlayStation were released, Ratchet and Clank was a huge seller, but they haven’t made a game since 2013. Then the new “video game based on the movie that’s based on the video game” series was released and I jumped at the opportunity to give it a shot. The game is fantastic, just as hilarious, entertaining, and beautiful as I wanted it to be; but this isn’t a review of the video game. This is a review of the film which goes along with that game.
I’m still somewhat confused as to whether or not I can even consider Ratchet and Clank a movie. It’s more of a 90 minute cut scene that was stripped from the game and put on the big screen. Most of the scenes in the film are taken verbatim, shot for shot, from its video game counterpart and having played the game all week leading up to seeing the film, I was kind of removed from the film for that reason. Seeing the same scenes I paid 40$ for in a game in a movie I paid 10$ for felt a little upsetting, like I’d been cheated by recycled content. While it’s great to see some of my favorite video game characters on the big screen and being done some justice, I still can’t grasp what exactly this film was trying to accomplish. The game does what all the games in the series have set out to do. It continues the legacy. The film feels like an attempt for the company to make a couple extra bucks, which is unfortunately (and probably) all it will do. I can’t see this film even making its menial budget back in profit.
[It's] a 90 minute cut scene that was stripped from the game and put on the big screen.
Surprisingly, the film is star-studded with a phenomenal cast. The likes of some of the greats lend their voice talents to the film; from John Goodman to Paul Giamatti to Sylvester Stallone and more. With James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye continuing their reign as the titular characters, the cast does do a great job at keeping you laughing throughout the film. This is in part thanks to their talents and surprisingly the humorous writing in the script. The film doesn’t take itself seriously which is important because of the source material it’s based on. The first joke in the film is the labeling of the planet the characters are on with the phrase “Bad Guy Speech in 3…2…1…” underneath it. Immediately, I knew I would enjoy this film for the fun it was bringing into the theater. There’s some interesting referential humor as well. For example, at one point someone is thrown through a window and given a Wilhelm scream which is immediately followed by another person screaming their name, Wilhelm, out the window. That’s the type of humor that Ratchet and Clank creates. It really is a laugh out loud surprise, but comedy alone can't make a film.
Kevin Monroe, the director behind the 2007 TMNT film and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, lends his directing talents here alongside Jericca Cleland, the cinematographer for Space Chimps and Finding Nemo (uncredited). It’s easy to tell that the two enjoy the source material and set out to just have a good time. There are some excellent nods to video games, the Ratchet and Clank series, and the amazing weaponry that the series is famous for.
It really is a laugh out loud surprise, but comedy alone can't make a film.
With all the fun that Ratchet and Clank has and all the laughs it creates, there just isn’t much else going on in this “film”. The characters are pretty bland, even though they’re based on characters with 15 games of backstory. The plot is something you’d expect from a Ratchet and Clank movie. While it’s all fun and games (pun intended) for the video game audience, it leaves a lackluster experience for anyone not familiar with the game franchise. There are movies that are made specifically for fans of their universe to enjoy, but they must be fleshed out and enjoyable for the rest of the audience as well. Ratchet and Clank has trouble being a film that can be both.
What this movie does is exist, and that’s not bad.
The Ratchet and Clank movie won’t be one that stands out to too many people, gamers or movie goers alike. It’s entertaining, it’s humorous, it’s pretty. It did what I wanted it to as a fan of the game series and I think it’ll do that for any gamer who has ever played a Ratchet and Clank game. Some of the humor in the film is really mature, and I don’t mean dirty, I mean it’s not childish. If you do enjoy playing video games, I recommend playing the game Ratchet and Clank before seeing the movie. This way you can get a feel for the style, but also you’ll be able to get more out of your experience with the game than you ever would with the film. The thing is, there really isn’t much to say about this film. That’s why this review is on the shorter side. What this movie does is exist, and that’s not bad. Turn off your brain, watch some funny looking aliens crack jokes and enjoy it for what it is because that is what it’s there for.