Saturday, 30 April 2016

Ratchet & Clank (2016)

Mechanic Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor), a lombax (cat-like alien) who dreams of being a hero, teams up with Clank (David Kaye), an accidentally manufactured robot, to stop Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) from tearing apart planets so that he can take the best bits and form his own 'perfect' planet. But there is a more Nefarious plan afoot. Is it too late for Ratchet, Clank, and the Galactic Rangers?

Ah, video game movies... will they ever get them to work?

The well-received 'Ratchet & Clank' series is the latest to get the cinematic treatment, and they've timed it to come a couple of weeks after the highly praised game that stems from the film. Which surely makes the film redundant on a certain level.

In all honesty, there isn't much going on in this 'Ratchet & Clank' film. It's hardly the worst thing I've seen. It's main problem is that it so blandly generic as a kids animated film with little focus on character development and meaningless plot while the 'jokes' are poor and the action vapidly muddled. You get all this shallow stuff about friends, fame, blah blah blah. So very banal, nothing worth going into any depth about.

Saying all that, I did watch the film with my younger brother who very much loves the games and he appeared to get more out of it than I did. And it was nice to watch the film during the bits he overtly enjoyed, usually tied to some references to the games that he'd understand (a couple of which I could understand too, and so there would have been a smile). But a lot of the time he seemed a little bored by it and I was later told that large chunks of the film appeared in the game. So he had basically ended up watching something he'd already seen. Twice, I assume, considering he is part way through his second playthrough of the game.

Plus, just because you're a fan of the game doesn't mean you'll automatically love the film. After all, I like my 'Final Fantasy' games (...generally. Best to ignore a couple of them), but I will never say the films are good. They may have minor moments (and, if nothing else, they're flashy), but they are a mess (and that upcoming 'Kingsglaive' looks very much the same).

So, yeah, 'Ratchet & Clank' (the film) is another misfire in the quest to bring video games to the cinema. Something that looks like we should get used to over the summer with the impending releases of 'Angry Birds' and 'Warcraft: The Beginning'.

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