Ratchet and Clank (2016)
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction/Fantasy, Comedy
Starring: John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Sylvester Stallone, James Arnold Taylor
I predicted that 2016 was going to be a truly special year for animated films. So far we’ve seen Kung Fu Panda 3 be awesome, and Zootopia bring out some heavy concepts. As for Ratchet and Clank, I never expected this to make it I saw the trailer for this movie and I expected it to fail. The trailers gave me no confidence that this could actually work.
When I’m unsure of a movie I’m seeing, I see what others have to say. Rotten Tomatoes was ripping this movie apart while IMDb gave me a much more positive outlook. (Often I side with IMDb and consider RT to be far too extreme.) I texted all my gaming friends and asked what to expect. They told me action/adventure, some cheesy humor that thinks it is funnier than it actually is and, an overall likable protagonist and antagonist.
I watched this movie to the end and came out pleasantly surprised. Everything I have heard and seen through the years about this franchise were exhibited in this film. Finally, a video game inspired film that didn’t completely suck.
There is on glaring problem with the film and that is the humor. Often times, it felt forced and it missed its mark (I think about 80% of the humor missed.) Some of it was clearly going for a younger audience. The slapstick, the goofy lowbrow lines. I was clearly not the age for this movie’s humor. If you can accept that the humor is stupid and not for you, then you are probably going to enjoy yourself more. If you can’t deal with the humor, it gets under your skin. You will hate this film. The only thing I wished they did more was use Ratchet’s innovative trait more. I think that could have really taken this film next level.
Alright, so the humor was a bust and frankly that was my biggest issue with the trailers. Thankfully, the rest of the movie was quite solid. The visuals in this movie were neat, they were fitting of your above average animated film. Some of the visuals like the backgrounds were really special (whoever designed those needs a raise). The musical score was solid, but not life changing or iconic. They make use of many of the gadgets and guns that made Ratchet and Clank successful as a video game. If you enjoyed the video game, then you will more likely find the positives in this one.
The villains are adequate Paul Giamatti works well enough as Chairman Drek, but the star of the show was clearly Armin Shimerman as Dr. Nefarious. He had some of the best lines in the entire film.
Using James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye to voice Rachet and Clank was a good move. I know they voiced the characters in the video game as well. John Goodman as Grimroth was a solid choice. His character was secondary, but he stood out because of a great voice and one of the best lines in the film.
The action/adventure aspect of this film also works quite well. It allowed it to be entertaining from start to finish when most of the jokes failed. This movie felt very much like a video game (but it is supposed to and that’s okay).
In the end, despite the failure of most of the humor, this film is beautiful and entertaining. With a couple of great lines, and a positive message for audiences young and old.
I think this film is definitely worth watching… on a streaming network of some kind. Perhaps if you really love the video game series (I know very little about it.) Or you are under the age of 12, you could watch it in theaters and have a great time.
Where it lands in 2016 so far.
2- Kung Fu Panda 3
3- Ratchet and Clank