PG | 1h 34min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Review - Matt Mungle
*In select theaters April 29*
Synopsis: When the galaxy comes under the threat of a nefarious space captain, a mechanic and his newfound robot ally join an elite squad of combatants to save the universe.
Review: Never judge a book by its cover or a movie by its poster. Yet there was something about RATCHET & CLANK that just did not bode well from the beginning. The thin characters and Saturday morning motif of the animation just screamed, "rent me later!". It is based on the original PlayStation Video game and after several failed attempts over the last decade to actually make it to production, it finally limps to the big screen.
If you read up on the history of the film it makes sense why this one seems so disjointed. Numerous big name directors were attached but then walked away. The main characters are voiced by the actors who did the video games which is lost on a normal movie audience who are used to hearing familiar big name stars. And even though this one has a few (Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Sylvester Stallone) they never truly stand out.
Also the main characters, which may come across as memorable on a video console, seem flat and uninteresting on the silver screen. Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor-Voice) is a hybrid fox like animal who has a large heart and larger ears. He longs to join the ranks of his galactic heroes led by the egotistical Captain Qwark (Jim Ward). When his home planet comes under attack he gets the chance to save the day while teaming up with a robot he calls Clank (David Kaye).
Animation movies must reach a wide audience from the young tots to the adults siting beside them. We are spoiled by the PIXAR and Disney franchises that know how to write deep, humorous, well balanced scripts. This film is void of laughs and the attempts at adult aimed jokes and witty banter fall way short. Everything feels forced and rehearsed and at no time do you get an organic line that evokes a natural response.
Thirty minutes into the film and you are ready to check out. The hook that grabs you and engages you with the story and characters never happens. As each new personality is introduced you think this will be the one that gives you some substance. But they soon fizzle out. The look of the animation doesn't help. Though teeming with bright colors and expansive graphics it still evokes a video game/small screen image. In this day and age that just will not cut it.
RATCHET & CLANK is rated PG for action and some rude humor. It is kid friendly though not very kid entertaining. If you only want a safe environment for your younger family members then it does deliver that. The smaller kids will laugh a little more than the rest but not much. I give it 1.5 out of 5 ejection seats. Wait a few months and then rent it. If your kids have something else to do while this plays in the background it will make go further.