By: Oberst von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Ratchet lives on a desert planet, working in a spaceship garage, fixing up crafts. He dreams of a bigger life, and longs for a chance to join the Galactic Rangers, and make something of himself. A robot named Clank randomly plummets to the ground near his garage one night, and tells Ratchet that he’s on a mission to save the galaxy. Meanwhile, the evil Chairman Drek is plotting to destroy numerous planets in an effort to build his own personal planet out of the choice pieces. Ratchet & Clank join up with the Galactic rangers to save the day!
The filmmakers couldn’t be bothered to come up with anything new or original to do with Ratchet & Clank, continuing the long-running tradition of video game to movie adaptations sucking harder than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. If forced at gunpoint to come up with a positive trait to the film, the computer animation is always serviceable, there is nothing amateurish about it.
Watching this film was like banging my head over and over again into a brick wall, no wait, that’s not exactly a good comparison. I can come up with reasons why I might to hit my head against a brick wall. I cannot think of a single thing about Ratchet & Clank that was worth that much consideration. What follows isn’t so much a review, as an attempt for my rational mind to reason with the sheer worthlessness of this film. Make no mistake, this isn’t a “so bad it’s good” film, nor is it even really a “bad” movie, it’s a movie that is so maddeningly uninteresting in every fucking way… I just can’t take it…
The story is your typical up from the ground hero’s journey, with nothing to distinguish it from a million other films you’ve seen on the subject. It even has the 3rd act “liar revealed” cliché that has become so overused in animated cinema.
The dialogue attempts to be clever, using pop culture references, such as texting jokes, internet blog references, and other things that were just the most groundbreaking stuff 12 years ago. The Ratchet & Clank video game series is full of comic humor lampooning Sci-Fi and Space Opera tropes. They seem to have brought the B-Squad for this screen adaptation. There is a contractually obligated feel to everything here… I can’t quite put my finger on it.
The voice cast is mostly wasted here, with Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, and Sylvester Stallone all given prominent roles. None of them make a lasting impression. Casting celebrity voices is meant to bring instant credibility and character to animated films, and it fails here. That isn’t to say the regular voice performers did anything exciting either, but they at least seemed to understand the material. This is perhaps not the fault of the actors, as the voice direction seems to have discouraged any improvisational activity, crushing any chance at redeeming the forgettable storyline.
My thoughts turn to the shallowness of the whole enterprise. At best Ratchet & Clank was a drawing-board level idea that was pushed forward without regard to quality control. At worst it was a cheap cash-grab, rushed to completion in order to be released in connection with the video game reboot being put out this year. I’m going with the latter, and just the thought of it is infuriating to me. In a year that produces animated films like Zootopia, where actual care and nuance went into the process, and in the name of a highly successful franchise, there is no excuse for this kind of boring filmmaking.
So in all of my complaints, why did I see this movie? Surely as co-founder of Movieboozer I could have had my pick of anything to review. The truth is, I have a problem, I abuse myself by watching these movies, so it can make my soul hurt. There are few things more painful than making a trip to the theater and paying money for an experience that you know will cause neither pleasure nor pain. It’s a special kind of self-abuse…. I’m a sucker for self-abuse, an S&M junkie, and rather than tie myself with leather and get whipped by a dominatrix, I choose to see films that will hurt more. Not in physical or emotional pain, but in soul-sucking dullness.
The Ratchet & Clank movie is a dull, generic affair totally bereft of redeeming factors. Just play the damned video games and forget about this… Drek.
Ratchet & Clank Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for tired pop culture references
Take a Drink: for familiar faces from the video game
Drink a Shot: for celebrity voices
Take a Drink: to feel something… anything