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Animated films are a tough genre to evaluate, as the spectrum of good and bad runs in so many different directions that opinions tend to be wildly different. Still, every now and then a film like Ratchet And Clank comes along and manages to be horrifically bad in pretty much every way, shape, or form.
Throughout the universe, Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) is destroying planets in order to create a perfect, patchwork planet of his own. The only thing that stands in the way between his unending greed and the destruction of an entire star system is a corps of Galactic Rangers, lead by the famous Captain Qwark (Jim Ward.) Of course, it doesn’t help that the renowned Captain has just been shown up by a backwater mechanic (James Arnold Taylor) and his supposedly defective droid (David Kaye). Some call them heroes. Others call them a menace. We know them as Ratchet and Clank.
Ratchet and Clank is the first film under the Playstation Originals banner of original programming, and if it’s any indication of the quality future projects will exhibit under this brand, they should cancel the entire lot. This is probably the cheapest feeling animated film you’ll watch this year, or any other year for that matter, especially considering the soundtrack is an excruciating exercise in synthesized music. The musical score is the least of your worries though, as the script to Ratchet and Clank is so hollow, you could package it as an Easter candy. There’s no real plot to speak of throughout the film, just a grab bag of scenes that should have included equally frustrating gameplay in-between the events depicted.
The lack of story is especially sad, because there are some pretty talented actors in Ratchet and Clank, among them being such talents as Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone, and John Goodman. Unfortunately, no amount of talent in the world can save this script, and everyone involved knows it. Sure, the cast gives it the old college try, but ultimately all the gravitas in the world can’t save this film from its amazingly dull story. Even the scattered sight gags and in-jokes you’d see in a film such as Ratchet and Clank fall flat, because there’s nothing serious for them to be offset by. If you like being given flat whipped cream, while forgetting to ask for the hot fudge sundae, then you’ll like Ratchet and Clank.
Perhaps the most disappointing part about Ratchet and Clank’s failure is the fact that we’ve seen animation, and video game films, done much better for quite some time now. If Ratchet and Clank was released closed to the release of the first game in 2002, it probably would have stayed in its own little direct-to-DVD corner, never to have been noticed. But unfortunately, the new and exciting channels of distribution have led to films like this lucking into wide theatrical distribution. If you want to save yourself some time, some patience, and a whole bunch of brain cells, don’t see Ratchet and Clank.