Ratchet and Clank is the movie reboot for the 2002 Playstation 2 classic game Ratchet and Clank, and while visually the movie excels, it can be a little lacking in the writing department.
Ratchet and Clank’s story is a re-telling of original 2002 game and instead of cramming twenty-plus hours of gameplay into a two hour film, the writers instead opted to focus on the friendships of the titular characters and main cast from the video game. This works out well due to the fact that the writers of the video game franchise also opted in to write the movie, but this comes with some downsides such as a dated sense of humor and an accelerated pace that could’ve used some more breathing room.
The film follows Ratchet, a lone furry lombax who dreams of being more than a mechanic’s assistant. Ratchet hopes to find a way out when the Galactic Rangers are holding tryouts for a new fifth member, but after a tragic rejection he finds new hope when a small ship crashes near his home. The ship carries Clank, a small robot that is a defective killbot, and after being saved by Ratchet, the two set out to save the galaxy from Chairman Drek, who is developing a killer robot army and destroying planets. This journey finds the duo joining the Galactic Rangers and stealing the limelight away from Captain Qwark all while the two race against time to save the galaxy.
The pacing of the film is quick and the whole thing clocks in at 90 minutes, which has me thinking that five more minutes could’ve been spared to allow the whole thing to breathe. The story beats come quickly and while the lighter and more comical sections of the film feel fine, there’s not much time to really take in some of the darker villain moments or even the sadder emotional scenes. The quick pace could be attributed to the writer’s video game history as it feels like these moments could’ve been complimented by gameplay sequences from game. The humor of the game is also a little hit and miss and while I found most of the movie to be hilarious and even laugh out loud funny, I did notice that parents and kids were not laughing along as I was. The humor here is spot on for what we have seen in the video game franchise, meaning that what we are hearing is a sense of comedy from the early two-thousands that just doesn’t stick with normal mainstream audiences.
Ratchet and Clank does shine with characters that are fitting of a Dreamworks animated film or even Pixar. The movie is a visually colorful project and that carries over with the orange colored Ratchet or even the green spandex wearing Captain Qwark. When it comes to the story, the story is pretty straightforward, but predictable specially if you have played the 2002 game or even the 2016 tie-in reboot game. The best moments in Ratchet and Clank come from the interactions and relationship of the two titular characters as they grow as partners and individuals; Clank doesn’t grow much as a character and instead acts as the straightman to Ratchet, who sees the most growth as he is launched into fame, his dream job and a task possibly too big for him to handle.
Overall, Ratchet and Clank is an enjoyable film for all ages, but the humor may not stick for everyone and left me wanting to play the game, which isn’t a bad thing.