Hot Take: Are you a Ratchet & Clank fan? Are you 10 or younger? If your answer is “NO!” to both, stay away. If your answer is “YES!”, you still might want to stay away.
I worked in a video store for 15 years and remember when Ratchet & Clank came out for the Sony PlayStation 2. If you worked in a video store or knew someone who did, you know how you played every game and watched every movie. By the time, I left the industry, I had experienced six Ratchet & Clank games. Every time one came out, the shelf would be filled with copies and no one ever rented them. We’d always get a ridiculous amount of copies. Meanwhile, we’d get one copy of NCAA Football and some employee would have it out and the customers would be losing their mind they couldn’t get NCAA Football. That’s my memory of Ratchet & Clank.
Flash forward to 2016 — 14 years after the release of the first Ratchet & Clank, 8 years after my last day at Blockbuster Video, nearly 3 years after the company went out of business — and Ratchet & Clank somehow made it to the big screen. Not only that, the animated film landed some big name voices: Sylvester Stallone, Paul Giamatti, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson. Based on my personal experience with the movie’s namesake, this fascinated me considering how there was never anyone lining up for this game yet Sony has churned out so many versions of this game and sold buttloads of copies of Ratchet & Clank and now backed it with a feature-length animated film. The question was, “Why?”
After viewing the movie, the question is still the same, “Why?” Not unlike the video game version, the movie version of Ratchet & Clank is visually pleasing but nothing mind blowing. It has an adequate story but nothing overly interesting. Actually, the story adds nothing to the Ratchet & Clank mythology. It does put some familiar voices to the characters. There’s some adequate imagery. There’s a few smile-cracking humorous moments. Kids will be kind of interested. Adults might go numb. I barely remember it and we’re less than 4 hours from the end of my viewing. The popcorn was good, though.
The best possible way to explain this movie is it is the big screen version of what an infomercial for a video game might look like. This feature-length film is the Shamwow! of video game movies. The only thing missing is a Vince Offer narration.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The First Appearance of the Voices of the Big Names
It’s fun to hear Sylvester Stallone as the villainous muscle. It’s neat to hear Paul Giamatti as Derek, the egomaniacal villain. It wears off quick but it’s fun for a minute.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- 12 Years Too Late
Even if they made the same film, Ratchet & Clank would have been more successful and more relevant over a decade ago.
- Bread & Water? For Dinner? Can I Get Some Peanut Butter At Least?
Those familiar with Ratchet & Clank will be initially pleased and then frustrated about how the movie does absolutely nothing new or fresh. It’s about as exciting as a plate of bread and a cup of room temperature water and finding out that’s all you are getting for your meal.
- Even the Post-Credit Scenes Are Predictable and Lame
Even the stingers in Ratchet & Clank are weak. Yawn!