Video game to movie adaptations don’t have the best track-record, but if there was any game that would translate excellently to a big-screen adventure, Ratchet & Clank would be it. Unfortunately, and frankly quite bizarrely, Ratchet & Clank’s witty humour, colourful characters, and hilarious dialogue seen in the games was somehow left behind when the franchise made the leap to the movie world.
Even stranger is the quality of the animation, which seems to be inferior to that of the game’s cutscenes. It really is a strange result given that the series seemed to have everything to make for a great movie.
For the uninitiated, Ratchet and Clank is based on the popular Playstation video game franchise and tells how the story’s two unlikely heroes met. Ratchet (voiced by James Arnold Taylor) and Clank (David Kaye) discover a deadly weapon that would help the evil alien Chairmen Drek (Paul Giamatti) destroy every planet in the Solana Galaxy. They join forces with the Galactic Rangers to stop Drek and try to save the galaxy before it’s too late.
The film gets off to a good start and manages to capture the feel and heart of the game, but misses the mark on the tongue-in-cheek humour that adult gamers fell in love with, instead opting to cater for a much younger audience, where the game’s trademark ingenious dialogue is replaced with slapstick comedy.
To its credit, the voice actors themselves are great – each converting and selling the the characters they’re playing with full commitment – it’s just that the script isn’t very good. LInes are drull, timing is awkward, and no story ideas explored in the games are fully realised, or even glossed across for that matter.
Even as a fan of the game franchise and a strong allure to the characters and world, it was difficult to enjoy Ratchet & Clank’s big-screen debut, even with its charming moments, self-referential jokes and familiarity.