måndag 14 november 2016


Oversized weapons that could devastate an entire planet, explosions, witty dialogue, some sexual innuendo, upgradable gadgets,groovy soundtracks and high quality animation and voice acting. man I love the Ratchet & Clank videogames and has a guranteed place in The Explodable World of  Action as they deliver carnage, mayhem and destruction on a level that makes Rambo look like a pussy.

Too bad this film has none of that. 

I mean, it´s not...tahat bad. It is just very very ordinary. And in this climate where Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks deliver high quality animated entertainment , this does not cut it. It needs to be far better to make an impact.This is simply not good enough for a mainstream audience. And not even enough for a fan like me. A shame.

Ratchet is a lombax ( a cat like creature), but also a mechanic who dreams of joining the Galactic Rangers, as his hero Captain Qwark is part of it. Qwark is a narcassistic douche who likes to come across as heroic even though he is not. War is brewing in the galaxy as evil Chairman Drek is destroying planets , since he is evil. And now GalacticRangers are looking for recruits. Ratchet is optimistic of joining the fight. Ratchet also comes across a small robot, a defect from a war robot producing plant who also joins up to combat Drek. And this is basically the plot. It sounds generic. Because it is. It has very  little of the wit and charm of the games.

I don´t know. I don´t want to be snarky about it, but Ratchet and Clank- The Movie is the Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace of Ratchet and Clank videogames.  Which means, it is perhaps the worst possible way to be introduced to what made this series successful in the first place. It´s not really that bad, it´s just feels like Cutscene-The Movie while removing the fun, addictive gameplay that made the Ratchet and Clank experience great.

You should be alarmed by the production history from what you can learn from Imdb. A lot of talented people was actually involved with it from time to time, during the ten year process of bringing this franchise to the screen, Edgar Wright and  Guillermo Del Toro are two, but left because of “creative differences”, which translates to; this movie is gonna suck. Creative differences means, they wanted to infuse creativity into the project, but Sony said; No creativity! Obey!

Add to that that they replaced some of the voice actors from the games with Hollywood celebrities and you can smell the cynical attitude towards maknig this film. Mind you, it is still James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye who voices the main protagonists and they do a great job with what there is to be done. 

Also, apparently, some of the scenes in the film are actually cutscenes in the new R&C-game which came out around  the same time as the film was released. I mean, that is kind of shocking.

Ratchets character  has  changed from the game and anything originally interesting in the dynamic relationship from the original game is gone. Ratchet was the reluctant hero, and Clank , who wants to do the right thing, was also incredibly naïve. That dynamic led to some fun bickering between the two. In this film, they already establishes as friends. And there is no growth to the characters..
In other words,  less interesting story telling than the videogame had. Ouch.

I can´t stay mad at this movie for actually existing and some of the jokes are clever and has some funny timing. But it is weird how something as originally looking on a Playstation can come out with suc a generic-looking style to it. And why did the non-gaming audience not took a liking to it? The games are great and they stuck to the games pretty damn close. I have a theory.

Ironically, one of the reasons why people does not seem to care for it, non-gamers I mean, is simply because it looks gamey. The filmmakers did not even bother at least changing the  character models or anything from the games to make it look interesting for cinema goers. This is the same fifteen year old design in 2016.

This is a case in which they actually stuck too close to the source material. I´ve heard people say that Ratchet and Clank has a terrible character design, which is a sentiment  I do not agree with. But this might be a problem as obviously the character design from the games does not seem to translate as easily to movie goers . When R&C was new, 15 years ago, it was revolutionary to see such high level of animation and developed characters with excellent voice acting in a videogame. That has long been a standard in motion picture history , with great animation and voice acting stretching back to Snow White And that was 1934.

That is a problem, the design of the characters belongs to the gamers and not the mainstream audiences with a completely different point of view in contrast with characters from a newer medium transitions poorly to a medium that has had many decades to develop and therefor R&C comes across as not-great in comparisons. I like the characters, but that is because I was there from the start, fifteen years ago. If the animated films had not progressed and delivered so many movies with high quality stories and characters, maybe this one would have made a success. But I don´t think it is an par with say Kung Fu Panda. Not by a mile.. It lacks a distinctiveness, I feel in comparison.

It also does not help that the acton set pieces are not that memorable. The insane level of destruction and seizure inducing mayhem from the games have translated into typical space shit, that belongs in Star Wars The Clone Wars or something. Speaking of Episode 1, there is a sequence reminiscient of that movie; the pod race, of which this is a much worse version of. It´s like the podrace, without the podrace.

Well, this movie was probably made for fans, which certainly explains why this film was given zero marketing in mainstream media. But even as a fan I expected more. I expected wittier writing, more devastating action,exploding cities and more bullet hells. I expected Rambo 3 in space. And got a lamer version of it.- I got Episode 1- The Phantom Menace level of space action with a sporadic laser blast here and there.. At least that movie has a kick ass kung fu fight at the end that almost redeemed the entire thing in my opinion.. This delivers really nothing satisfying. Ther are some fan service here and there, but I never found them enjoying as the film as a whole is pretty boirng..

I´ll stick to the games and I will most likely never revisit this movie ever again.

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