Ratchet and Clank movie review (Spoiler-Free)

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Based on the popular video game franchise, Ratchet & Clank follows two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy “Lombax” who has grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called the Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way, they will learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity in this thrilling and funny adventure featuring the voices of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson and Sylvester Stallone.

(This will not have spoilers and I will be talking about the movie. I will review the game on the next post.)

Revealed a while back, I was surprised that Insomniac Games wanted to a movie about Ratchet and Clank. I loved playing the games on the PS2 and unfortunately, I missed on playing the Future series since I was a late bloomer when getting the PS3. Insomniac Games partnered up with Gramercy Pictures to bring our favorite Lombax hero and little robot to the big screen. Not only they made the movie, but Insomniac also rebooted the first game from the PS2 and added some new plot elements in which I will talk about later. Like mentioned, this review cover the movie only. If you have Netflix, you can watch this movie.

Story – A whole new adventure for young heroes

Take everything you remembered the classic PS2 game from 2002, and bring this game to 2016 with an all new twist and new origin.

The story begins with us introducing the antagonist Chairman Drek is on board with his Deplanetizer and destroying planets. We quickly move ahead and we see Ratchet on his home planet Veldin and working as a mechanic. Ratchet dreams of joining the Galactic Rangers and helping his hero Captain Quark and when he hears the Rangers visiting Veldin to recruit more rangers, he decides to try and get enlisted. Meanwhile, in a factory on planet Quartu, we see Drek and the robot lieutenant Victor Von Ion (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) observing his robot army. However, when a power outage temporary halts the production and later restarts, the machine accidentally created a defect robot. This defect was very small and it had plans to destroy the Galactic Rangers, but this robot has no evil purpose and has a free will. After escaping and crash landing on Veldin, Ratchet saves the robot and names him Clank and Clank tells him that the evil Chairmen Drek is planning to destroy planets and get rid of the Galactic Rangers. Realizing that the targets is at Quark, Ratchet decides to leave his home planet and assist Clank in hopes that he can become a Galactic Ranger and fulfill his dreams of being a hero.

Characters – New and old heroes for this adventure

Even though this is remake of the classic game, the story implements the old characters like Ratchet and Clank and Quark and added some characters for the good and bad guys. As a twist, we also get to meet the evil scientist Dr. Nefarious before he became a robot. To those who who don’t know, Dr. Nefarious has been a well-known villain for the series and he first appeared in the third PS2 game Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal and then reappearing in the future series and cameos. The voices for the iconic characters have returned such as James Arnold Taylor being Ratchet and David Kaye as Clank. We also get some surprising voices for the new characters; the voice for Victor is Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone and Ratchet’s boss Grim is John Goodman. Also introducing the cast, we have the main Galactic Rangers such as the hardcore female fighter Cora Veralux (voiced by Bella Thorne), the big-brute trigger happy Brax Lectrus (voiced by Vincent Tong) and the soft spoken scientist Elaris (voiced by Rosario Dawson).  Like mentioned before, Chairman Drex returns as one of the main villains, but now he got some different voice actors. According to Wikipedia, the original voice actor from 2002 was done Kevin Michael Richardson, but he doesn’t come back for this reboot. Instead, the movie version is done by Paul Giamatti and the video game has Eric Bauza.

Review – A good or bad movie adaptation?

Movies based on games tend to do either mediocre or sometimes really bad according to the general audience. Since I am fan of Ratchet and Clank, I feel like this movie is positive mediocre. Before I tell you why, I want to talk about the positives and negatives. The positive aspects of the film is that they were able to bring back old voice cast. I am used to hearing Ratchet, Clank, Quark and Dr. Nefarious voices from the past games and it’s nice hearing them again. As for the new voice for Drex, I honestly didn’t mind the changes on him since he only made his appearance in the first game and I didn’t care about him much unlike Dr. Nefarious. The humor in this movie was pretty funny just like the games. Ratchet in this movie is pretty funny when he tries to be cool and Captain Quark is also funny when he brags about himself for being the best. Overall, the characters still follow their personality from the games. I also like Ratchet’s appearance from the Future series as opposed to the version from the PS2. I also like the Easter eggs in this movie cleverly placed by the creators. For example, there is a scene where Quark hacks into the computers and PS1 start up sound plays as soon he turns it on. When you first start the movie, it title of the movie shows clips of the past games and the Future titles from the PS3. If you like Ratchet and Clank, these Easter eggs are easy to find and worth finding them.

To anyone who played the video game first will miss out on the character development on the characters. The movie version focuses on characters and shows off their characteristics like Ratchet learning about what is like to be a hero and how Quark learns about what is a true hero. Not spoil anything, but if you stay after the credits, you get to see a bonus scene with Dr. Nefarious and hints of possible sequels. The movie does add scenes where we get to see character’s motivation in which we don’t see in the game.

The negative aspects of the movie is that there is less gun action, and the pacing on the movie feels short and a tad bit fast. In the game version in which I try to get write next, the game explores other worlds and shows Ratchet and Clank fighting against the Blargs and goes in depth on the worlds the go to. In the movie, the story seems to focus on Ratchet and Clank having dogfights and trying to survive against robots. There’s no exploration on other planets which also means we miss out on seeing other characters from the PS2. In a way, the movie sacrifices the old characters and we get some new ones. I was kind of disappointing that the guns we see in the movie doesn’t get much of the spotlight only the only appearances we see is when Ratchet learns about the gadgets in the Galactic Ranger Hall of Heroes and near the end of the movie. So in short of less use of guns, puzzles and no filler, this movie is pretty short and be finished about an hour and 30 minutes.

Overall – A short movie for Ratchet and Clank fans

Is this movie worth watching? In my opinion, I think the audience who loves the Ratchet and Clank series would find this movie at least enjoyable. However, if you like cartoons, PG humor and sci-fi elements, you might like even if you are not a fan. Since this movie is based on the series, the movie serves a big reboot to the classic game. In other worlds, you can just jump and watch without having to worrying about playing game titles. The voices for the characters are back and the characters in this movie feels like you are watching a big cutscenes. If you don’t mind the fast pace of the movie and less gun fighting from traditional games, it’s a good short movie. I do hope we get a sequel because the ending makes it feel like we could get one and I do like the series.

What do you guys think? I am going to try and do a video game review on this movie as well.

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7 thoughts on “Ratchet and Clank movie review (Spoiler-Free)

  1. Yeah, I thought the film was decent, but like you said it was definitely missing a lot of the gun action that the franchise is known for. The movie could have done a whole lot more with the franchise than it actually did

    • Thanks for reading my review. I guess the gun action only appears in the video game where players can enjoy. Without it, I felt like the movie was lacking.

  2. I watched this a little while back on Netflix. Honestly, I didn’t think it deserved the slating it got. It was fun, it looked nice and it didn’t drag. That was pretty much what I’d hoped for.

    • I thought it was a funny and simple movie to watch. I think people thought it was going to be exactly like the game and they heavily criticized it.

      • Yeah, that was my thinking. Translating stories between two types of media is difficult though, and rarely pleases everyone, so hey ho. I enjoyed it, and my youngest enjoyed it, so it was job done in our household at least.

  3. Pingback: Ratchet and Clank PS4 video game review | Matt-in-the-Hat

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