Ratchet & Clank – Review (**)

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Fans hoping that this movie might break the video game adaptation curse – where, after more than two decades, not a single one has scored a positive critical consensus – are sure to be disappointed, in what is a distressingly toothless effort aimed squarely at the very youngest children.

The evil Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) is planning to use his new weapon, the Deplanitizer, to create a new planet from the destroyed remnants of other ones, and it falls to Lombax mechanic Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) and his escaped robot pal Clank (David Kaye) to save the day.

It’s tough to figure out who exactly this movie is aiming to please; fans of the video games will likely find the obvious kiddie-pandering too blatant, with the subversive wit of the source material mostly gone, while aside from the pretty colours, there’s not really much in the way of humour to please even the most undemanding children.

Cobbled together on the cheap for just $20 million, it really shows; even ignoring the generic plot (which, in fairness, even the games are guilty of), the animation is gaudy and cheap-looking for the most part, and actors like John Goodman and Sylvester Stallone end up with just a few forgettable lines of dialogue each.

There are a few amusing meta jokes for the adults and a couple of moments that pop visually, but these are few and far between; for the most part it’s just aggressively dull, which is in many ways worse than had it been outright terrible. At least then it might’ve been compulsively, perversely watchable rather than really quite ennui-inducing.

With so many cast and crew members from the video games attached in creative positions, we all wanted to believe that the curse would be broken with Ratchet and Clank, but alas, they’ve adapted a fantastic platforming game into a bland, forgettable animation that neither you nor the kiddies will soon remember.

Do yourself a favour and just pick up the new PS4 game instead, because it’s bloody awesome (and features about 25% of the movie as cut-scenes).


Ratchet and Clank is in cinemas now


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