Ratchet & Clank (2016)

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“Kick Some Asteroid”

Directed by Kevin Munroe
Starring Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, Jim Ward, James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Sylvester Stallone

When the villainous Chairman Drek (Giamatti) and his Blarg start destroying planets, the Galactic Rangers announce that they are upping their numbers… to five. Ratchet (Taylor) is a young mechanic who dreams of joining the corps. Their leader, Captain Qwark (Ward), bounces him from the recruiting line, but when he partners up with a defective Blarg warbot named Clank (Kaye) they become heroes and are – reluctantly – accepted into the Rangers, alongside Qwark and his comrades, the quick one (Thorne), the techy one (Dawson) and the big one (Taylor).

Drek uses Qwark’s jealousy of Ratchet’s sudden fame – and general stupidity – to subborn him into betraying the Rangers, but is in turn betrayed by his chief scientist, Dr Nefarious (Armin Shimmerman) who wants to create his perfect world from the ruins of those being destroyed.  Ratchet and Clank and the rest of the Rangers are forced to fight at a disadvantage to prevent the destruction of an occupied world.

What’s wrong with it?

Our heroes spend... quite a lot of this movie screaming.
Our heroes spend… quite a lot of this movie screaming.

There are a fair few characters in this film, but only a handful of them really have much to do. The other Rangers are largely around to fill screen real estate in the fight scenes.

The zero to hero plot is straight out of the standard playbook, without much of a twist to it.

What’s right with it?

If the plot is stock, the film is really pretty funny. It’s almost a parody at times, and I do wonder who it was really aimed at: Children, or older fans of the video game.

How bad is it really?

"If it's all the same to you, I think I will have that drink."
“If it’s all the same to you, I think I will have that drink.”

It’s not terrible, and it’s mostly a lot of fun to watch. It’s just not very memorable.

Best bit (if such there is)?

There are some decent bits of business, like Drex heavy-handedly punishing a minion for texting during his evil monologue.

What’s up with…?

  • The sheepinator? I guess it’s from the game, but…

Ratings

Production values – The film is pretty shiny, if cartoony. 3
Dialogue and performances – It’s a good cast, and the script is a highlight, especially in its humour. 3
Plot and execution – This is where things fall down a but. It’s a standard zero-to-hero buddy movie, decently executed but nothing all that memorable. 13
Randomness – Most of the weirder stuff is game legacy. Nefarious’s plan to help Drex destroy planets and then cherry pick the bits with the best landmarks for a single superplanet is pretty out there, but I won’t hold the film’s biggest innovation against it. 8
Waste of potential – There’s clearly a lot of talent at play here. If the plot were as inventive as the humour, this film would be great, so it’s a shame it’s only okay. 12

Overall 39%

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