Hey, guys. It’s Dash Jordan here. So, you all know me, I’m pretty much a fan of everything. Well, except for those times when something is crap. Usually, that’s all the time when it comes to movies based on video games. Some of them are…Most of them are absolutely horrible while others are so unintentionally hilarious, that they become classics.
Not now, Bison! Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that “good” video game-based movies are a lot rarer than you’d think. But recently, we ended up getting a film that flew completely under everyone’s radar. Since a lot of people like to rely on me, I suppose I can’t let my adoring public down. So let’s take a look and see what you guys missed.
Ahh, my adoring public…how the hell did you miss this?!?
‘Ratchet & Clank’ is a 3D-animated sci-fi comedy based on the popular video game series of the same name. In fact, the film itself and its video game tie-in can actually be considered a reboot of the original game, while also using elements from some of the later games. Most of the plot pretty much remains the same. The film takes place in the very distant future, where a cat-like alien named Ratchet comes across a small robot named Clank. The duo then become allies and even close friends as they venture from planet to planet trying to stop an evil force from taking over or destroying the galaxy…okay, now!
Perfect timing! Now, for a movie with such a basic plot, based on a series of games known for its easy gameplay, memorable characters, its tongue-in-cheek humor, and many variations of weapons as well as the fact that the film is pretty much made by the same people…you’d think that this would be the film to break the status quo and set a whole new standard for video game-based movies, right? Unfortunately, the reviews for ‘Ratchet & Clank’ were mixed at best. As for the box office results? Depressing. ‘Ratchet & Clank’ was made with a budget of $20 Million but is currently making only half of its budget back. Largely due to the fact that the film is also contending with other blockbusters; such as ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice’, ‘Zootopia’, the live-action remake of ‘The Jungle Book’, and of course, the re-release of ‘Purple Rain’.
Relax guys, it’s alright. However, as both a critic and a fan of the games, I was curious to know why all of the mixed opinions surrounding the film. First off, there’s absolutely no denying that the film looks amazing. There’s really no need to see this film in 3D, it’s fine just the way it is, it really does look just like the games. But, does it feel like the games? Well, let me just explain something. There will never be a video game-based movie that “feels like the game” because those are two completely different forms of entertainment. With film, you’re simply listening to and watching whatever you see on the screen. Even if the film was released in 3D, you’re not completely immersed into that film’s world, it’s just outdated film techniques and headache-inducing sunglasses. With video games, it’s different. You don’t just watch and listen to the game, you are in the game. When you pick up the controller, you become Mario, you become Link, you become Samus Aran, Chris Redfield, Sonic, Kirby, Nathan Drake, Scorpion, Jak & Daxter or…Ratchet & Clank. When these characters kill the bad guys, save the world, rescue the princess, or even fall and plummet to their deaths, it’s because of you and how you experience the games.
Yeah, I know. However, I will say that the comedy of the games is still intact. While it was sad to walk into the movie theater being the only one watching this movie, at least there were no distractions and I was able to catch every joke and easter egg in the film. Another thing I will give praise to is the voice-acting. Like I said before, they pretty much had the same people from the games work on this movie, and the same can be said for the actors. James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward & Armin Shimmerman are by far the best things about this movie as they return from the games to voice Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark & Doctor Nefarious, respectively. Even Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Bella Thorne and Sylvester Stallone gave some pretty good performances. Yes, and normally I would despise the idea of casting big-name actors in animated features just for the sake of more star power, instead of getting talented voice-actors who do voices for a living…I’m looking at you, ‘Ice Age’ sequels.
If there’s one thing I had a problem with, it would be the film’s run time. Only an hour and a half? Not to say that I was expecting some three-hour epic or anything. But I just feel like there could’ve been so much more to experience. Even if I wasn’t a fan of the games and knew nothing about ‘Ratchet & Clank’, the world we’re watching seems very interesting, vast and open. Just a little more time is all I would’ve wanted. As a fan of the games, however, I would’ve liked to see more of the weapons from the games.
Listen, guys. Aside from the relatively short running time, ‘Ratchet & Clank’ is still a hilarious sci-action romp. Just keep in mind that this movie was clearly meant for hardcore fans of the video games and maybe little kids. As far a video game-based movies are concerned, this is probably one of the best, if not the best. Obviously, there was a lot of love put into this movie and if all went well, this would’ve most likely been the start of a new trend in American Cinema; much like comic-book movies in recent years. Unfortunately, a lot of people are missing out on a truly funny film with recognizable characters, great animation and some pretty hilarious Sony Playstation easter eggs that are sure to make anyone feel nostalgic. ‘Ratchet & Clank’ still has a chance, however, to become a sleeper hit. But it’s all up to you…don’t sleep on this underrated gem, especially if you’re a fan of the games. Go watch it…NOW!
No problem, guys! Next time, we’ll take a look at a recent film that has no problem making it big in the box office…until then, Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
Ratchet & Clank(2016 film)(owned by Blockade Entertainment, PlayStation Originals, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Rainmaker Entertainment & Gramercy Pictures)
Street Fighter(1994)(owned by Universal Pictures)
Captain America: Civil War(owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures & Marvel Studios)
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice(owned by Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Entertainment, RatPac Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment & Cruel and Unusual Films)
Zootopia(owned by Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios & Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
The Jungle Book(2016)(owned by Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures & Fairview Entertainment)
Purple Rain(owned by Warner Bros. & Purple Films)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure(owned by Orion Pictures, Interscope Communications & Nelson Entertainment)
Ice Age(owned by 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Animation & Blue Sky Studios)
Saturday Night Live(owned by NBC Studios, Broadway Video, SNL Studios & Lorne Michaels)