This disappointing adaptation of Insomniac Games’ 2002 sci-fi platformer tells the origin story of cat-like alien mechanic Ratchet and his robotic sidekick Clank. The duo become unsuspecting heroes when they join space saviours “The Galactic Rangers” who are intent on stopping the villainous Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy using his revolutionary weapon The Deplanetizer.
There’s never been a truly successful game adaptation and Ratchet and Clank aren’t about to change that.
There’s never been a truly successful game adaptation and although the pair provide great source material, Ratchet and Clank aren’t about to change that. While nowhere near Super Mario Bros. levels of bad, this still feels like an impressive voice cast just cashing in. Sly Stallone, Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson and John Goodman step up for the easiest roles of their lives alongside gaming franchise veterans James Arnold Taylor (Ratchet) and David Kaye (Clank), who bring some consistency to the franchise’s big screen move.
Though the familiar sights and sounds provide comfort for fans (and there are plenty), the film’s rigid adherence to the original game’s plot adds nothing by way of fresh material. Thankfully, the creators loosen the bonds when it comes to weaponry, stocking their protagonists with an intergalactic arsenal from across the franchise including the Sheepinator, the Walloper, the Spiral Of Death and the Thunder Smack, resulting in more entertaining action pieces than the film deserves.
The beauty of the in-game animation fails to scale up to the big screen and is radically below par, giving the impression that a kids’ cartoon got lost on the way to Saturday Morning TV. One or two 3D gimmicks add a jolt of inspiration but it’s slim pickings.
The franchise’s trademark humour has to work harder than ever over the feature length running time, feeling like butter scraped over too much bread. Jim Ward’s Captain Qwark remains the scene-stealer in this category as the idiotic and selfish leader of The Galactic Rangers, boasting an egotistical, shallow persona that constantly gets him into trouble – but it just isn’t enough.
There’s fun to be had here for those of a certain age, but adults will struggle to engage with this most basic of cinematic re-renderings. More clunk than Clank.