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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ratchet and Clank

August 15th, 2016

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Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank opened in late April, which is a bad time of the year to release a movie, as the first of the Summer blockbusters is just around the corner. Even so, Ratchet and Clank was a serious box office disappointment. Is it as bad as its box office numbers? Or would it have thrived during a better time of year?

The Movie

The film begins introducing us to the main bad guy, Chairman Drek, who is preparing to use his new super weapon, Deplanetizer, to destroy a planet.

We then switch to Ratchet, a lowly mechanic who dreams of joining the Rangers. We first see him “training” to be a Ranger before we see him with a customer talking about all of the improvements he made to his vehicle, including speed boost, magnetic attractor, etc. The customer just wanted his ejector seat repaired. When he hears the Rangers are going to be on his planet looking for one new recruit, he immediately signs, up, despite the warnings from his mentor, Grimroth, Ratchet decides to go.

The Rangers at the recruitment drive are Cora, the cunning one; Brax, the strong one; and Captain Qwark, the leader. (There’s also Elaris, who is an inventor and handles the tactical support.) Ratchet applies to be a Ranger, but is rejected immediately. It turns out he has a lot of... incidents on his record.

Meanwhile back with with the bad guys, Dr. Nefarious shows Chairman Drek his new line of warbots. However, there is a power surge and a defective robot is made. While the robot doesn’t have the same physical form as the others, nor is it programmed to obey, it still has Chairman Drek’s plan. It runs trying to get this information to the Rangers, but Drek sends his toughest robot, Victor von Ion, to destroy him before he gets away. Victor fails, mostly. He gets away, but his ship was damaged and crashes not far from Ratchet.

Ratchet rescues the defective robot, which he names Clank. Clank mentions he has to warn the Rangers, so Ratchet offers to help get him there. At first Clank says no, because the mission would be too dangerous, but Ratchet lies about being friends with the Rangers. The pair arrive too late to warn them, but they manage to use a magnetic attractor to pick up the warbots and destroy the mothership. They are instant celebrities and are made honorary Rangers, much to the dismay of Captain Qwark.

Will this conflict tear the team apart? Will Ratchet and Clank becomes heroes?

Ratchet and Clank isn’t as bad as its reviews or its box office would indicate. In fact, while I was watching the film, I was reminded of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The two films earned similar reviews. A lot of critics complained that The Clone Wars felt like a TV movie and not a theatrical release. It felt like that because it was a TV movie. It was originally planned to be a TV movie that was supposed to act as a pilot for the TV show, but partway through development, they decided to make it a full theatrical release. Ratchet and Clank feels similar. It feels like it was meant to be a Direct-to-Video release, and compared to other releases that go that route, it isn’t bad.

The animation certainly looks better than the average Direct-to-Video release and a lot of the voice actors are great. This includes the original voice actors for Ratchet, Clank, and Dr. Nefarious. I also liked some of the new voices, although it is a shame that some of the side characters were in the movie for such a short time. I think Grimroth is the character that exemplifies this the most. The action scenes are well done, given the budget, while more than a few jokes hit their mark. “Wilhelm!” On the downside, the plot is predictable and the characters are rather cliché.

Overall, it is a fine movie for kids and if you loved the video game series, you might want to watch it with them.

The Extras

There are two featurettes as extras, the first is an eight-minute making of featurette, Hero’s Journey, and the other is a four-minute featurette on the game franchise, Leveling Up. That’s not a lot of extras, but it bombed in theaters, so this was expected.

The Verdict

Ratchet and Clank feels like a Direct-to-Video release that came out in theaters. If you compare it to other Direct-to-Video releases, then it isn’t bad and should appeal to younger kids. The DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack doesn’t have a lot of extras, so a rental will be enough.

Filed under: Video Review, Ratchet and Clank, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, David Kaye, Sylvester Stallone, James Arnold Taylor, Jim Ward, Armin Shimerman, Bella Thorne, Vincent Tong