Sunday, May 8, 2016

Movie Review #420: "Ratchet & Clank" (2016)

Movie"Ratchet & Clank"
Director: Kevin Munroe and Jerrica Cleland
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Image Source
A mechanic named Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) lives in the desert and dreams of becoming a Galactic Ranger. Meanwhile, the evil Drek (Paul Giamatti) has built a large super laser with the capability of destroying planets. One evening, a robot name Clank (David Kaye), who has escaped from the super-base, meets Ratchet. Clank has information on Drek's next target and needs Ratchet to take him to the Galactic Rangers so he can deliver the information and figure out a way to save the galaxy.

"Ratchet & Clank" is an animated film based on the video game of the same name that is/has been apparently pretty popular, though we had never heard of it. Video game adaptations don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to producing quality films. Unfortunately, "Ratchet & Clank" is not going to be the movie to break this trend. Within 5 minutes, we noticed the animation here feels very flat. No, it's not the worst animation we've seen, but it does look like it is made-for-television quality, and in a year with "Norm of the North," that's not necessarily a good thing. As far as characters go, the filmmakers do a really awful job developing them. For those audience members familiar with the video game, this might not be a problem. However, for the average moviegoer, this is terrible. If you go into the film knowing little to nothing about the characters from the video game, chances are, you'll leave the theater knowing about the same amount of information. We found ourselves getting lost in a sea of characters and planet names unable to distinguish what was what and who was who in any given scene. With powerhouse actors like John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, and Rosario Dawson adding their voices to this, we guess we just expected a little more quality and a little less boring.

The plot of "Ratchet & Clank" is not much better, either. It seems to borrow many of its main points from "Star Wars." It's not one or two instances, but rather, a whole slew of similarities. We even wondered to ourselves if the film as a whole was simply inspired by it in an homage sort of way, or if portions were actually directly lifted from it and slightly changed into this clanky world. The protagonist is good with machines and lives in a desert, the villain builds a giant laser capable of destroying an entire planet, and there are even a few lines paraphrased from "Star Wars." Other lines appear to be stolen verbatim, and we certainly noticed. Beyond this, the narrative is bad and also poorly connected. Some scenes are included strictly as filler, like the scene where our characters must go through a cache of weapons in order to keep it feeling like a video game (as if it weren't conspicuous enough). The entire thing feels more like a really bad television cartoon than it does a major motion picture. It's all so dull. We were in the theater counting down the seconds until its eventual conclusion, hoping and wishing for the subpar drudgery to end.

It is painfully obvious that the movie version of "Ratchet & Clank" is geared towards a very niche group of people. This group would appear, to us at least, to be very young little kids and/or die hard fans of the game. Just because we don't fall into either of these categories doesn't mean we cannot and will not enjoy a movie, but this was simply a dull, hard to get through, slow moving blur we've honestly already forgotten. There are a few decent lines here and there, but in an hour and a half, we laughed less than half a dozen times. We infrequently get the chance to have a movie theater all to ourselves, but when we do, it's usually quite fun to "Mystery Science Theater 3000" the hell out of whatever we're watching. Being alone in a theater forced to watch "Ratchet & Clank" wasn't even a mild good time.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 16%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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