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Ratchet & Clank Movie

Platform(s): Movie
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release Date: April 29, 2016


Movie Review - 'Ratchet & Clank'

by Adam Pavlacka on April 30, 2016 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Ratchet & Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy.

The PlayStation 4 reboot of Ratchet and Clank was a happy surprise that provided a solid update of the original game at a budget price. If you want to experience Ratchet and Clank at their best, the game is where you should spend your time. The big screen adaptation of the adventures of the dysfunctional duo never seems to find its footing, feeling more like an extended video game cut scene or direct-to-video special than a feature film.

It's not that the film is lacking in talent. "Ratchet & Clank" has some heavy hitters on its voice cast, including Rosario Dawson, John Goodman and Sylvester Stallone. The problem is that none of them are given a chance to shine. All are just random voices on the screen, putting the characters through their paces, and have no real sense of who the characters are. Even Armin Shimerman (best known for his role as Quark in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") couldn't save Doctor Nefarious from mediocrity. When one of the primary villains in your story is boring, you've got issues.

Mediocrity is unfortunately the name of the game in "Ratchet & Clank," as everyone from the title characters to the villains seem to fall into place. Neither Ratchet nor Clank have to work for their positions as heroes; they just sort of fall into it. Chairman Drek and Doctor Nefarious ostensibly have plans to be evil, but both end up coming off as more misguided than anything else. They don't seem threatening, and you end up pitying them instead. That's probably not the angle the director was going for here.

Visually, "Ratchet & Clank" is serviceable but looks like something you would see on Saturday morning TV rather than in the theater. When compared to the sheer level of detail present in a Pixar film or one from Dreamworks or Disney Animation, what's here looks bland and basic. On a small screen, the lack of detail could be overlooked, but on a massive theater screen, the little bits make all the difference between OK and impressive.

At one point, "Ratchet & Clank" seems like it might be going for a message as Captain Qwark has to wrestle with the ramifications of an important decision, but the payoff never comes. Instead of addressing the issue, the film waves it away with a simple joke that makes it all seem like no big deal.

In the end, that is the biggest problem with "Ratchet & Clank." The movie never seems to take itself seriously enough to make anything that happens in the film seem important. Despite the PG rating, there is no real threat, no real conflict and no real resolution. Stuff just sort of happens, and the film doesn't have the visual flair to cover for the lackluster story. Hardcore fans of the franchise may want to track it down just to say they've seen it, but even then, you're probably better off waiting for the film to debut on Netflix or as a PlayStation Plus freebie.

Score: 4.0/10

"Ratchet & Clank" is rated PG and has a running time of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It is showing in 2-D and 3-D.

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