Thursday, 26 May 2016

Movie Review - Ratchet and Clank

   I'm a fan of the video game series and I'm eager to have it become a franchise on a more international media.  A sci fi adventure with lots of action is sure to be a hit, right?

   Ratchet has dreams of being a space ranger and the unexpected appearance of a robot with news of an interplanetary planet-destroying menace gives him the chance.  But forces within and without hinder his way.

   I had no idea that the origin story of Ratchet is so similar to Star Wars.  A dreamer from a backwater planet finds a robot with a warning about a planet destroying weapon?  It's so obvious.  The classic trope doesn't go a long way as things change up with the wacky villains and a semi competent support crew.  But it kinda deviates from what the game theme is about.  It's about Ratchet and Clank and how they work together and bond as they go against all odds to save the universe with their incredible tools.  In this film, their camaraderie and interaction is divided as the pair are split up.  The glory hog Captain Qwark and the scenery chewing Drek and Nefarious almost take center stage over the duo, which is a shame. The rest of the ranger team are characters new to the classic game as well, probably to accommodate the celebrity voice actors.

   The humor that is a trademark of the game is present but mostly delivered by the other characters.  The weapons, which are also a hallmark of the series, are present though mostly upgraded or done differently (that's not the lava gun.  It's the tornado gun an upgrade of the vacuum gun?  At least the sheepinator is kept around).  The animation and action can thankfully compete with the best of the modern CGI flicks, being fast-paced and prodigiously flashy.  Impressive as this is taken from scenes from the actual reintroduction of the game.  Now the film story, perhaps addressing my peeve of their being not enough of Ratchet and Clank together, is actually taken from the reintroduction of game, a sort of reboot.  The gameplay does have the player being Ratchet teamed up with Clank and so perhaps this just doesn't reflect anymore in the movie cut itself.  The game has more content in terms of story of course and perhaps that's why I feel the film lacks the certain buddy buddy feel.

   As it stands by itself, the Ratchet and Clank movie is a visual feast and plenty of laughs and loads of explosions.  It could stand should to shoulder with other CGI films in terms of animation quality.  The story might be slightly disjointed for a fan of the game series but the audience would be dazzled enough with the effects and humor.  I just hope it gets enough positive buzz so they can release a sequel.

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