Ratchet & Clank
Ratchet & Clank (also referred to as Racket & Clank: The Movie) is a 2016 computer-animated science fiction comedy film produced by Rainmaker Entertainment and distributed by Gramercy Pictures, based on Insomniac Games' video game series of the same name. The film was directed by Kevin Munroe, co-directed by Jericca Cleland, and stars the voices of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson and Sylvester Stallone. James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye reprise their roles as the titular characters alongside Jim Ward and Armin Shimerman.
The film features an original story loosely based on the 2002 video game of the same name written by Munroe, Gerry Swallow, and former Insomniac senior writer T.J. Fixman, who began writing for the series with the Ratchet & Clank Future trilogy. Alongside several cast members from the games, Insomniac contributed to the film's production with character development, screenplay, and animation assets. Released on April 29, 2016, the film received negative reviews and grossed $14 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.
Despite this, a tie-in PS4 game of the same name (also doubling as a reimagining/remake of the 2002 game of the same name) was produced and released around the same time, to much better critical reception, and a lot more sales numbers.
Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy lombax who grew up without a family. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. After stumbling upon a weapon that can destroy entire planets, they join forces with a team of do-gooders known as the Galactic Rangers. Together, they must stop the evil alien Chairman Drek from utilizing this dangerous technology. Along the way, Ratchet and Clank learn valuable lessons about heroism, friendship, and discovering one's own identity.
- The main problem with this movie is that the whole of it feels like an uncut cutscene and overuses many pop-culture references such as Megamind, Monsters vs. Aliens, WALL-E, and The Incredibles.
- Most characters become very clichéd compared to their counterparts in the original series:
- Ratchet is changed from a very flawed character who becomes nobler due to his experiences over the course of the game, to a boring wide-eyed goody-two-shoes who just has a bunch of things happen to him.
- Ratchet and Clank constantly argued and never got along until the end of the game where they became friends, which gave their relationship more depth because they were only traveling together out of obligation and slowly learned to trust each other after putting their differences aside. Here, they just become friends right away, and barely even interact with each other afterward.
- Captain Qwark was a goofy fraud who stole credit from other heroes to become famous and was deliberately working with Drek while being directly antagonistic towards Ratchet (and was even the main antagonist of the second game) and took so long to come to any kind of redemption until the third game. Here, he's a moronic egomaniac and an actual hero that becomes jealous of Ratchet stealing the spotlight from him to the point of being extremely unlikable and is basically tricked by a very ridiculous plan into helping Drek, regretting it immediately. He's also so incredibly stupid to the point of giving smarter characters a hard time.
- Supreme Executive Director Chairman Drek was a con artist who intentionally polluted the planet Orxon so he could build a new planet and charge money to all the Blarg, then repeat the same scam over and over again. Here, he's a generic movie villain and is unceremoniously replaced by Nefarious as the main antagonist.
- Much of the plot is rushed from the original game.
- The Galactic Rangers, even though they didn't even exist when the original game was released, are just there so the movie could make some sexist jokes since the male members (minus Ratchet) are meatheads and the female members are attractive and intelligent.
- It has the need to shoehorn in references to the games, as well as PlayStation and pop-culture references. For example, the PlayStation startup sound plays when Qwark puts in a USB in a computer in the Galactic Rangers base to disable their weapons system (which doesn't make any sense, since Ratchet & Clank game wasn't released on the original PlayStation), and Daxter from Jak & Daxter and Sly from Sly Cooper (as well as Dan, a former Insomniac employee who passed away and appeared as an Easter egg in every Ratchet & Clank game) appear when Ratchet and Clank are flying their ship and Clank scans Ratchet.
- Depending on your view, the design of Nefarious's organic form is just awful, and having him randomly take out the actual villain of the original game is a very poorly thought-out attempt at fan service.
- The action scenes are lackluster, which doesn't make sense because the action is one of the main pillars of the entire Ratchet & Clank franchise.
- Weak direction skill of Kevin Munroe, the same director behind 2007's TMNT, which is a far better movie than this.
- The soundtrack, although at least well-done, is rather generic and forgettable compared to the original game it was based on.
- Awful humor and cringeworthy moments, such as where Ratchet and Qwark both suddenly puke after escaping the exploding Deplanitizer.
- Due to the film underperforming at the box office, it killed Gramercy Pictures, which was a sub-label of Focus Features (the movie's U.S. distributor).
- The animation is actually good and way better than expected, especially since it was made by the studio Rainmaker Entertainment, the same company who made the animation for 2013's Escape from Planet Earth.
- Some of the characters' designs are faithful to their game counterparts.
- There are some decent jokes.
- The voice acting is good, especially since the main voice actors from the games are present.
- Although the soundtrack is rather generic as mentioned above, it is at least well done.
- Doctor Nefarious, even though he shouldn't even be in the film and was actually created for the third installment Up Your Arsenal, puts on a good show. His transformation into his well-known robot form seen in the games is also seen at the end, which was only implied in backstories.
- In the ending, Clank uses his signature giggle after saying "I do bring a certain level of zing to the table, don't I?", which is kinda cute.
- Clank is considered to be the most likable character.
- Chairman Drek and Zed evilly laugh together then. "JUST PUSH THE BUTTON, ZED!"
- The pacing is okay.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 20%, based on 80 reviews, with an average of 4.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads: ″Ratchet and Clank may satisfy very young viewers, but compared to the many superior options available to families and animation enthusiasts, it offers little to truly recommend.″ On Metacritic, the film has a score of 29 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating ″generally unfavorable reviews.″ Audience polled by Cinemascore gave the film an average grade of ″B″ on an A+ to F scale.
- The film flopped at the box office, cost Rainmaker Entertainment nearly $10 million in damage, and killed off Gramercy Pictures. The box office bomb also played a role in the cancellation of the movie adaptation of Sly Cooper.