Despite the track-record movie adaptations of games have, I was very intrigued by this one. Not that Ratchet and Clank had grand stories, but with stunning CG and all the fun and enjoyable weapons at their disposal, it could make for a fun, action-packed movie, especially if the humor was left intact. But when I noticed the 5 production-companies that had their hands in making this movie, my hopes were shattered.
The story is loosely based on the original Ratchet and Clank, but rewritten for the purpose of this movie. I am totally okay with rewriting the story, as there was not too much to begin with and it could lead to some nice changes from the source-material. Chairman Drek is continuing his plan of blowing up specific planets one by one. Being unnerved by this ginormous threat and having no idea who is behind it, Captain Qwark and his alliance of super heroes seek out a new member for their team to help them deal with this evil. Ratchet, being a young and reckless mechanic, sees his opportunity to become a hero. Unfortunately, he is not accepted due to both his size and his record of misbehavior. The same night, while he is outside and dreaming about becoming a hero, a shooting star, actually a tiny robot named “Clank”, comes down from the sky to warn of who is behind the planetary destruction. Ratchet helps the toaster from his crash landing and takes another shot at becoming the hero he always wished to be.
It is an incredibly cliche story about a young protagonist wishing for something more and this is probably even worse than the general ones. Ratchet is such a cocky show-off, who basically only wants fame and glory. He becomes this egotistical brat, without much quality to him and it is hard to root for him because of that. He even lies about knowing Qwark and his team personally, which does not amount to any controversy except for the audience. The other characters aren’t much better, which is quite strange. The hero-team consists of trigger-happy egos, Drek is a generic villain with a high-pitch voice instead of the more charming and sly personality from the original game, and Nefarious feels toned down. Even Qwark, although having a couple of funny lines, feels underused as a character and rather as a shallow inclusion, despite being an important plot-character.
Because of the less humorous characters, the jokes suffer harshly. Lines such as “cue bad guy speech” make it clear that they try to create jokes that are self aware, but it becomes too obvious and straightforward. This makes it clear that the creators of this movie did not know how to make the series’ humor work in a movie. Some jokes can be entertaining, but most lack the delivery to make them funny, and instead have long, awkward pauses, making them become almost uncomfortable. The plot can also drag on due to this unfunny comedy, little to no development, and there are some questionable parts that don’t make sense; The camera-lady being able to see that there are 2 unknown characters in a spaceship miles away, villains letting the heroes live, and a robot that will rust in water.
However, there are some legitimately positive parts towards the end, with decent morals that, while really obvious, are nice. The reason behind destroying the planets is also intact and entertaining, and the characters do go through a change, despite it being way too quickly and not well told. One of my favorite parts is when the fan services are subtle, such as a boot-up melody being from the original playstation and a reason for why Clank is on Ratchet’s back most of the time. Sadly, most attempts at fan service fall flat, such as when the guns from the games are only shown once, or the odd Conan-inspired poster that really does not fit in. Speaking of the guns, the shooting is incredibly dull and usually consists of generic laser-guns, rather than the creative weapons the series is known for. Ratchet barely even uses his gun and only the last fight had some legitimately cool gunplay.
The music is pretty good, although not necessarily memorable due to not having clear tones and the low volume. It creates a decent atmosphere, but is more typical due to reusing a lot of similar instruments in the melodies without any good rhythm to them. The only one that can be described as terrible is the title song, which makes me wish Shaquille and Vanilla Ice had a duet throughout the entire movie instead. At least, some of the voice actors are well chosen, despite some odd inclusions like the Stallone-robot. You can fortunately tell they put some effort into their performances, and the sound in general is amazing. It is impressive how much it affects and how grand and strong it can make the movie feel. Adding to this, are the visuals which are just fantastic. There are so many details to this world, with Ratchet’s hair being impressively animated and the world springing to life with plenty of colors. But while you will be traveling back and forth, there is a huge lack of worlds to explore and it feels almost empty despite you being in space with plenty of planets. The inhabitants are also lacking in variety, making it feel quite uninteresting in a world inhabited by different aliens.
Because of the unfunny humor, lackluster characters, generic plot, and dull gunfights, the movie is simply boring to sit through. I can only remember the end-part having some legitimately interesting scenes, where Ratchet comes to his senses with his ego to some extent, and the funny lines Qwark had from time to time. But when ⅔ of the movie struggles to be funny or interesting, you might as well not bother with this adaptation. I actually considered texting on my phone, since it was a running joke in the movie. I wonder if it actually knew how bad it was. By the way, Kevin Munroe, who directed this movie, is also going to be the director of the upcoming Sly-movie. I hope you will have more fun than me, Casper!