Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ratchet & Clank

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  Someday we'll be in an age where video game adaptations become as awesome as current comic book adaptations.

Ratchet & Clank – 3 out of 5

I really enjoy the platformer series Ratchet & Clank.  I love the gameplay, I find the humor in it very amusing and the insanity of the goofy weapons is simply fantastic.  I was pretty interested in the idea that these two would get a theatrical film but, at the same time, a bit cautious because video game adaptations don’t have the best track record.  So, how does Ratchet & Clank work out?  Well, better than something Uwe Boll would have made.

In fairness though, this film could have been Ratchet talking about how
9/11 was a lie and this film would have been a better video game adaptation
than anything Uwe Boll made.

This is just me but I can only stand Qwark in small doses.
The diabolical being named Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti), thanks to the mad scientist Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman), has his hands on a terrifying weapon capable of destroying entire planets called the Deplanetizer.  After the destruction of several planets the heroes who call themselves the Galactic Rangers, led by the narcissistic Qwark (Jim Ward), decide to seek a new member to help fight the danger and the call is answered by a Lombax named Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor).  However, the depths of Drek’s plans are revealed by a defective battle bot named Clank (David Kaye), who escaped and found Ratchet.  Now it’s up to Ratchet and Clank to save the universe!

I can't wait till the moment when modern robotics can make me my own
Clank to hang out with.

Essentially, Ratchet & Clank is a retelling of the very first game and that’s not bad in theory.  This gives those unfamiliar with the franchise a chance to get some backstory and learn about the Lombax and the robot.  Sadly, however, if you’ve played the game, it makes the whole ordeal feel repetitive and kinda makes the whole film feel a tad cheap.  And that’s just the beginning of its problems.

Ah Chairman Drek, you are somehow less evil than the real life CEO's
of the world...and you have a planet destroying weapon.
A nice little nod-and-wink to another game that I
To boil it down, this movie is serviceable.  It has its moments of fun (there’s some great Easter Eggs for other games out there), the animation looks good, and the voice acting is great (it’s nice to see the main characters from the game return and not be cast by more household names) but the film feels like it is lacking something to make it a theatrical, feature-length film.  If Ratchet and Clank had a weekly cartoon series, this movie ends up feeling like it is just a double length episode meant to kick off the season.  Or, at worst, the whole film feels like a Direct-to-Video feature that you’d see in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart but it somehow got a theatrical release.

I will add this:  I really enjoyed Sylvester Stallone as Victor.
He was damn amusing!

Some of the issues that hold back this film (which I really wanted to like, mind you) is the humor that often feels like it is trying too hard and action that doesn’t really capture the essence of the game.  Sure, there were many moments that I laughed at the gags and jokes but there are just as many moments where the film felt like it was really going overboard to be funny and it reeked of trying.  I will also admit that the film did bring in a lot of the trademark gadgets and guns you get in the game but they kinda felt like an afterthought.  The unique weaponry, hordes of silly villains and the platforming action are the cornerstones of the gameplay for the video games but in the film, they all seemed to take second place to bad jokes—even the story and characters felt like they were secondary to the really bad humor.

I have the same look when I am faced with responsibilities.
(That joke was lame and I'm here knocking this film's humor.)

"Alas poor Yorick-tron, I am familiar with your software."
A majority of the movie felt like just a big collection of missed opportunities.  There could have been some dynamic and exciting action, and there could have been a unique and new adventure for the duo but, instead, Ratchet & Clank feels like it is settling for something safe.  While the film is never outright terrible, I couldn’t escape the reality that the whole thing felt like they were just going the easy route and just threw in Paul Giamatti and John Goodman into the voice cast in an effort to give the film a Hollywood feel (not that I'm complaining about the addition of these two. I love them both and fully believe that adding John Goodman to anything automatically makes the feature at least 75% better).  I’m not one to throw out suggestions in my reviews but it’s a way more fulfilling experience to just play the game rather than watch a movie that literally just feels like it took all the pre-rendered cut scenes and just edited them together.

Here's hoping these two get a second shot at a movie.

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