BY AMANDA STRAPP
Adventures in space and the road to being a hero are common themes in the movie business, and they have the potienal to be excellent stories full of excitement, discovery and action. While having those three things, however, Ratchet and Clank, directed by Kevin Munroe, can only be considered “good” or “okay”, but not “excellent”, “award worthy” or “best look into space in the last so and so years.”
Ratchet and Clank is supposed to be a movie based on an action/adventure video game. However, the movie can stand on its own, with no connection to the games, which can anger fans.
The plot of Ratchet and Clank is a very common one in movies: boy wants to do something big in his life, and join with the group he so admires and become a hero to stop a villain.
While the movie does follow the plotline very well, it ends up going a little off track to focus on other characters. One of these is Captain Qwark (Jim Ward) who temporarily becomes a villain due to his jealousy of Ratchet. Ward really shows off the character well, from having a prideful tone at the start, then feelings of insecurity and finally anger and sadness, showing none of the comedy that he showed earlier. The subplot of Qwark does interfere with the plotline, however. It’s supposed to be Ratchet’s journey, yet it keeps switching back to Qwark.
The second, less subtle plotline, is on how the geniuses of the superhero team are often ignored or treated poorly, despite having good ideas. Clank ends up in the broom closet with the scientist of the team, Elaris (Rosario Dawson) while Ratchet is off “doing big things”. This also comes up with Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman) backstory as well, as he was the brains of the Galactic Rangers.
It’s good to have good lessons in kids’ movies, it’s also important to not steal away focus from the main character and his journey. And that’s what Qwark and the geniuses did with Ratchet.
The movie misses some key points. One of the biggest is how the movie is called Ratchet and Clank, yet Clank is not featured much. Even Captain Qwark and Nefarious got more focus in the movie then he did. While it may be okay for the rest of the rangers as they are secondary characters, Clank is supposed to be a main character, yet he is treated as a secondary character. Even Elaris, his fellow genius, got more star time than he did.
In the opening, Drek (Paul Giamatti) is shown making a speech, and then destroying a planet, setting the tone that this movie will be action packed, an attempt to save other planets. Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor), is shown working at a garage, messing up, and wanting to be a hero, switching the movie from a serious tone to a more less serious one, with comedic bits added in. Then he meets Clank (David Kaye).
Taylor does an excellent job of showing Ratchet’s character in his voice. He really shows the excitement Ratchet has about being a hero, and expresses him well. In the past, he has played several roles, such as Leonardo in the 2007 TMNT, and as Bucky in Ultimate Avengers 2.
Ratchet and Clank also offers a good look into space, as the characters are shown going to different planets, such as a heavily populated one, to the desert planet that serves as the home for Ratchet. Sometimes it’s for the best to just focus on some places, and not try to cram in so many planets to make it like a fast-paced trip though the galaxy, similar to Around the World in Eighty Days.
The tone in the movie is not only supposed to be full of action, but be funny. Sometimes, the comedy works well, such as when the Galactic Rangers show Ratchet their ugly photos to cheer him after his screw up. But also, it can be very inappropriate and out of place, such as Drek ejecting his minions out into space during a funeral. While it may be nice to have a good laugh when needed, there are going to be times it leaves the audience wondering what the heck just happened.
The animation in the film is great for the most part, but it cannot be considered high quality. In fact, some of the quality, such as when Ratchet is shown in space could be improved by more detail to the outside, as it is space after all.
Ratchet and Clank was originally scheduled to be released last year. However, it was delayed due to wanting to polish it up, as well as the new game that was scheduled to come out along with it. Surely, it could have been better, been funnier or had better animation, as it looked the same as the trailer from last year.
Ratchet and Clank is a decent film with good and bad points. It offers a lot of action, and plenty of things to learn about. However, it missed out on certain things that would have made it a masterpiece in space or a cool hero film. It may not be everyone’s ideal trip into space, so decide if it’s worth it, or stick with Civil War.
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