Review: 'Ratchet & Clank' Brings The Video Game To Life On The Big Screen

So real talk I was actually surprised when Sony announced they were making a movie from of their video game franchises. For the most part I think Ratchet and Clank’s claim to fame was really those early commercial selling the game with their weird weapons like turning people to sheep. Those were hilarious and was still in that comedic tone of the early PlayStation brand (it’s a damn shame we don’t have a Crash Bandicoot movie but that’s another story). So I was game (no pun intended) for this movie, I played some of the games back in the day on the PS2 (PlayStation 2 for the non gamers) and found them funny so I could see this working. Like at the worst it has to be better than Turbo or the second Planes movie, right?

Ratchet & Clank follows the basic story of the first video game. A character named Chairman Drek is going through the galaxy blowing up planets with the purpose of taking pieces from each and making a new planet for his people, the Blarg. Ratchet is a young mechanic on a desert planet that dreams of becoming a Galactic Ranger and having space adventures like his hero, Captain Qwark. Ratchet meets Clank, an escaped robot from Drek’s factory and ends up stopping an attack on the Rangers. Becoming loved by the people they are offered a place in the Rangers to help them try and stop Drek’s plan.

This movie is interesting; while I can see a lot of people not being completely with it, I kind of rode with it. I have history with the characters and story, but also I think it falls into the trap of being not that amazing, just a really a good TV movie level story. Like those Scooby Doo straight to DVD animated movies that you end up watching on Cartoon Network on a boring Saturday. Yeah that level. That’s what’s really holds it back, the scale of the story is never big enough even though the threat is. It also never really builds the relationship between Ratchet and Clank. It’s their movie but we never see that friendship build, it’s too focused on Ratchet’s heroic journey and growth and while that’s cool for a game where you spend most of the time playing as Ratchet it doesn’t work as well in a story you’re just passively experiencing.

One of the few things that surprised me with this movie is how good the texturing and lighting was in this movie. It might be because I still think of these characters as PlayStation 2 era models and seeing them modeled with such life. You can see the hairs and skin textures really popping off the screen. The environments are designed really fun and the lighting is able to capture the mood and feeling of the characters and situations they are in. It’s clearly one of the highlights of the film. All that being said though the 3D is completely wasted, nothing really pops out and the depth of field is completely lacking. This is something if you’re going to see in the theater, just see the 2D version.

So should you go see Ratchet and Clank? You know I don’t know because there are some parts that really felt like cinematics after finish one of the game's boss battles. So to be honest I’d watch this at home as a rental on TV. I have a feeling that the best version of this might actually be the PS4 game version of this remake. Hey in the end it’s still the best video game based movie of all time. So that’s good right?

Rating: 3 out of 5