Ratchet & Clank. Another more than appropriate film title — well, at least the “Clank” part.
I have written in the past that movies inspired by video games usually fall into two categories: Bad (“Doom,” “Super Mario Bros.,” “Tomb Raider”) or terrible: (“Mortal Kombat,” “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li,” “Max Payne”). Recently, “Hitman: Agent 47” (a remake of the 2007 picture starring Timothy Olyphant) neatly fits into that last category. Now, an animated feature joins that sad group.
Ratchet & Clank, based on a Playstation game franchise that, thankfully, this author has never played — or even heard of for that matter, is directed by Kevin Munroe (“TMNT”) who is apparently so overwhelmed in this simple endeavor that he needs Jericca Cleland to help him for some reason. The task shouldn’t be that difficult, since the plot is stolen from a dozen better pictures from “Star Wars” to “The Incredibles” to “Megamind,” among others. Like most movies of this ilk, it’s visually aimed at kids, but written with adults in mind. It’s too bad that most adults with normal brain capacities will find this production a chore to get through and will want to end as quickly as possible.
Here, some guy named Chairman Drek (voice of Paul Giamatti, “Straight Outta Compton”) uses a Death Star (called a “deplanetitizer”) to blow up uninhabited worlds (they HAVE to be uninhabited because this is a kid’s film, after all) in order to create the perfect planet. Joining him in this effort are are mad scientist Dr. Nefarious (voice of Armin Shimerman, dozens of video game and cartoon voiceovers, but best known as “Quark” in the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” TV series) and stupid henchman, Victor Von Ion (voice of Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”).
Meanwhile, the heroic Galaxy Rangers, the pompous Captain Qwark (voice of Jim Ward, more video game and cartoon voiceovers) leading a bunch of non-entities, are looking for a new member, so the cat-like spaceship mechanic Ratchet (voice of James Arnold Taylor, a host of TV series and even more video game and cartoon voiceovers) decides to audition for the position, much to the disdain of his boss (voice of John Goodman, “Trumbo” and the only recognizable one in this entire film). Of course, Ratchet is rejected, but when he teams up with a war-bot defect, Clank (voice of David Kaye, a dozen or more TV show voiceovers and narrations), and saves a planet or something, he is accepted into the legion.
Not much left to write about, friends. Ratchet & Clank is so mediocre, that it defines the term. Mediocre in writing, characters and animation. It almost screams straight to DVD and the lackluster result will cause it to get lost in the sheer number of even less inspired upcoming animated features (“Ice Age: Collision Course,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” among others). There is also absolutely no feeling for any of these characters except a total disinterest and a longing for this experiment in boredom to end as quickly as possible.
And while it’s not the worst film out there (you could have to sit through “Gods of Egypt” or “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) it will certainly not leave a lasting impression (about 15 minutes, tops, and that’s DURING the movie).