Monthly Archives: April 2016
Before I get into the actual review, for those who don’t know a thing about “Ratchet and Clank” here is a very quick refresher course….I also had to Wikipedia and then some this franchise cause I had only played the first game and OH MY GOD THERE ARE SO MANY.
The series follows a lombax named Ratchet-I know its okay I confused him with Ratchet of Transformers at first too-the last of his kind and a robot he befriended named Clank. Together they go on various adventures saving their universe from various dangerous threats. The yellow lombax first came onto the scene in 2002, so in gaming years this feline like creature is quite a newcomer to the gaming world.
The new re-imagining says on the case “based on the movie based on the game”….So in essence the movie itself is one big giant product placement for “Ratchet and Clank” but it doesn’t really feel all that conniving or manipulative. In fact the movie itself, is pretty harmless for both fans, and casual moviegoers alike. Let’s take a look at it.
- Ratchet and Clank
The movie really should’ve had just these two characters. It feels like there was enough time spent on their growing relationship yet it also feels like it took a back seat to the really boring, really basic plot. Their friendship is genuine but at times it only feels that way if you’ve done your research (like myself) or played at least the very original game. If you’ve played that then you get more of a development of Ratchet’s character and his relationship with Clank. In terms of the movie itself, it’s done at a reasonable pace, and by the end you do see that they genuinely care about each other.
- The Voice Acting
The voice acting in this movie is extremely top notch from everyone. I didn’t get the feeling of “okay these are just people in a recording studio recording their lines for a paycheck”. Especially when it came to James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Ratchet….For those who don’t know, he’s been voicing Ratchet since 2003. He’s also known for roles as Leonardo from the 2007 movie “TMNT”, Obi-Wan from several Star Wars project including “Clone Wars”…He also voiced Walker from “Danny Phantom” and Crash Nebula from “Fairly OddParents”. He did an amazing job voicing Ratchet and David Kaye did a great job as Clank. If that name sounds familiar it should; he voiced Clank from the series, Sesshomaru (Inuyasha), Megatron (Transformers Beast Wars, the Unicron Trilogy), and Optimus (Transformers: Animated) were all voiced by this guy.
- The Animation….On Ratchet and Clank
At times the animation looks just wonderful. The establishing shots, medium close ups, and space itself looked great. The animation was all done by the actual studios who work on the games, and you can tell. I’m sure on Blu-Ray you can tell how bad some of the animation is on certain characters and I’ll get to those in the “Bad” section….But for Ratchet and Clank they look just marvelous. They move fluidly, and in Ratchet’s case when there’s even just a close up or medium shot you can see every strain of fur on his body. Fur is incredibly hard to get down right in the animation world-just look at Sully from Pixar’s “Monsters Inc”; he gave them a world of trouble. So for this lombax to look so good is impressive on their part.
- Every other Character not named Ratchet or Clank
Throughout the entire movie I kept thinking “why are these other characters even here? If they just focused on Ratchet and Clank and their relationship changing and growing it would’ve been stronger” and….yeah it would’ve been. The other members of the Galactic Rangers you don’t care about (except for Qwark he steals the show), you don’t give a S#*$ about the villains who are boring as tar….Ratchet’s boss had a few funny moments. But if the movie had just kept to the formula of the Ratchet and Clank series by just sticking with the Lombax, his robot friend, Qwark, and some evil villain, it would’ve been…not much but at least a little bit better.
- Hmm….I feel like I’ve seen this story before…
The story is old as time. A nobody wants to become somebody, gets that opportunity, screws up, comes back full on, learns valuable lesson about trust, heroism, and friendship. The setup is fine if you have never seen any other hero movie ever. The hero’s journey is the setup for every movie, what makes every movie different is how the writers tackle that journey to make it feel fresh and new. This movie doesn’t make it feel fresh and new just…okay. If they kept to Ratchet’s original personality of just kind of a bit of a prick, then changing over the course of the movie to become more personable it really would’ve worked to the story’s advantage and the overall lesson. As it is, even if you haven’t played the games, you can see the plot points coming miles away as if they’re sending off missiles from the Negotiator into the air. The jokes got way too exhausting and too many fell extremely flat.
- The Animation….Sort of
The animation as I said for Ratchet, Clank, the shots, space, and some of the Galactic Rangers looks nice enough. Extremely good in Ratchet’s case, and SOOOOOO bad for the villains. It’s like they thought “they won’t care they’re villains they’re bad guys they’re supposed to look bad”….yes and no. You’re hero is only as good as you’re villain. It’s why Nefarious is the villain here-his plan is actually kind of devious and he needs a good hero such as Ratchet to face off against. But it’s hard to focus on the villain himself when the animation is distracting you away from whatever it is he’s saying or doing. Sometimes it looked good for the villains…Other times you couldn’t help but think “hmm this feels like video game quality animation” and yeah okay it’s a video game movie but it’s a movie here first and video game second.
- The Villains
The villains are so incredibly boring. I didn’t care about them at all, I didn’t care about their plan, every time they were on screen I hated it.
- The pacing
The movie suffers from slow movement. It feels rather all over the place. Sometimes you want more Galactic Ranger stuff to learn more about the team, others you just want focus on Ratchet and Clank and you want them to have more interaction with each other, and you just want the villains to get the hell off the stage. The best way I can describe this is the movie feels rushed. It’s a pretty mixed bag.
All in all, this movie is….Harmless. I almost feel bad for talking bad about it because I want it to make money. I want people to see this I want it to do at least moderately well so we see more…With the library of games up their arsenal, maybe we could see a movie adaptation of “A Crack in Time”, or “Tools of Destruction”. The little references in the movie which was kind of cool…If you’re a movie fan, or video game fan, or big fan of the series, look out for some funny and well snuck in references to film and other Ratchet and Clank games. I’m sure I heard a reference to “A Crack in Time”. The characters are fine, the story fine, the animation fine….Seeing a theme here? It’s pretty serviceable, just middle of the road really. But maybe this is a good thing. It’s neither good nor bad. With so many HORRENDOUS video game movies out there (not the least of which being the “Super Mario Bros Movie”) having this movie out is a sign that yes Hollywood can indeed do service to games some might hold dear. If you’re a fan, this doesn’t completely ruin the games for you. If you’re just a moviegoer, it might actually be a good introduction to the world of Ratchet and Clank. It’s not really for you if you have no idea what this series is or who these characters are. It’s an origin story, but it doesn’t feel like one. I enjoyed it for what it is. It left me wanting more, take that as you will.
I’m going to give it a 3/5.