Rebel Angel Reviews - Ratchet and Clank the Movie
Kick some Asteroid
Ratchet and Clank's Film Debut!
Hello, this is the Rebel Angel, bringing you the BEST of heaven and the WORST of hell. Now, before I get into the movie itself, I think it only fair to give you a brief history of the title characters. Ratchet and Clank first debuted on the PS2 in 2002, and video game history was made. It was a game that combined platforming and first person shooting, and was one of the first games to do so. It concerned the adventures of a plucky reckless Lombax, named Ratchet, and his robotic companion named Clank, as they raced to stop Chairman Drek from harvesting pieces of planets to build a new planet for his race. With a wide array of weapons, immersive stages, and more, Ratchet and Clank was one of the best, and is STILL one of Sony's best games, with sequels, spin offs, comic books, and more! And after all that, a MOVIE seems imminent. And it finally DID happen, 14 years later! But don't worry, this movie did manage to keep with its roots, unlike most Video Game movies. (IE, Super Mario Bros the Movie, the Mortal Kombat Movies *The first I liked, the second I didn't*, Street Fighter the Movie) So, now that the history lesson is complete, let's begin, and before we do... SPOILERS.
We open up at Planet Tenemule, moments before its deplanetization, at the hands of Chairman Drek of the Blarg, played by Paul Giamatti. We are also introduced to his robotic bodyguard, Victor von Ion, played by Sylvester Stallone. Moments after its destruction, we are introduced to Ratchet, played by the voice actor from the games from Going Commando to the most recent game, James Arnold Taylor, who works at a garage at Planet Veldin, and learn that Tenemule wasn't the FIRST planet to be destroyed. However, Ratchet learns that due to this, they are increasing the ranks of the Galactic Rangers, Solana's premiere protection force, and lead by the legendary Captain Qwark, voiced by Jim Ward. However, despite his mentor and fellow mechanic, Grimroth or Grim, voiced by John Goodman, letting him go to the auditions, he is immediately denied, for being, "a puny muscleless mass of fur," and for his various questionable acts in the Junk shop.
Meanwhile, Drek learns that the Galactic Rangers are increasing their ranks, (from four to five. Seriously, what is with that.) but Drek of course has a plan. He has hired Dr. Nefarious, a well known criminal genius, played again by the voice actor in the games he's appeared in, Armin Shimerman. His solution to the Galactic Rangers? An army of warbots, programmed to destroy. However, a lightning strike temporarily shuts down the plant where they are manufactured, and coming out of the plant, is a small boxy robot. Meet Clank, voiced by David Kaye, another of the original voice actors. And here we come to one of my cardinal rules for video game filmmaking. If you are going to make a video game film, that ISN'T live action, at least TRY to get the original voice actors on board, and you may actually have a good film. Anyway, back to the story. Clank is considered a Defect, and Victor von Ion tries to destroy him, but Clank escapes, in order to warn the Galactic Rangers.
Meanwhile, on Veldin, Ratchet is lamenting his rejection at the hands of the Galactic Rangers. However, he notices a "comet" coming in, so he investigates, and finds Clank's escape ship! The two become fast friends, and after Clank tells Ratchet that Nefarious' warbots intend to target the Galactic Rangers at their HQ, the Hall of Heroes, located on Planet Kerwan, in Aleero City. So, they take a ship that Ratchet had recently repaired, and head off to save the Rangers!
On Planet Kerwan, the Rangers fight off the warbots, in a losing battle.... that is until Ratchet and Clank show up. Using their ship's Magbooster, they are able to attract the Raritanium alloy that makes up the warbot hulls, and drag them back to their drop ship, causing it to explode. Qwark wonders who the people who saved them are, and is shocked to find it's none other than the Lombax he so callously turned down! And when asked if Ratchet was the newest addition to the Galactic Rangers, he is forced to say, "Yes."
Meanwhile, Nefarious and Drek are lamenting the failure of the operation, and trying to find out how to set this back in action. However, Nefarious decides on allowing the Rangers to destroy themselves from within, and use Qwark as the means to do so. Back with Ratchet, he's being trained by the Galactic Rangers in the various weapons that they use. However, this is where one of the gripes I have with this film comes in. In the games, you had various weapon design companies, Gadgetron, Megacorp, Vox Industries and GrummelNet to name a few. In THIS movie, the Galactic Rangers science team creates all the weapons that they use, and many of them are iconic weapons! But enough of that. During his short time as a Ranger, Ratchet begins skyrocketing in popularity, much to Qwark's Chagrin. They also learn of Drek's weapon, the Deplanetizer, which destroys any planet it's fired at. Finally, the day comes, for the big assault on Drek's Warbot factory on Quartu. As the Rangers attack, they realize that Drek intends to build a New Quartu for the Blarg, due to Old Quartu being polluted to the point of being near uninhabitable. And the next stop is the planet Novalis, home to one of the Galactic Rangers, Cora. THIS sparks worry, for up till now, the planets being destroyed, were all UNINHABITED.
Meanwhile, Qwark is approached by Drek, and, Drek taking advantage of Qwark's jealousy of Ratchet, offered a new endorsement deal with Drek Industries, as well as a three picture deal, if he stalls the Rangers long enough to deplanetize Novalis. Qwark agrees, on one condition, he does NOT harm the Rangers. In the subsequent attack on the Deplanetizer, Qwark disables the Rangers' weapons, leaving them helpless. Ratchet manages to board the station, but is caught by Drek's men, and is shocked to see Qwark working for them. He, and his fellow Rangers, can only watch as the planet Novalis, luckily evacuated, is deplanetized, and another chunk is used for New Quartu. Ratchet, in disgrace, exiles himself back to Veldin.
Meanwhile, Qwark is chided by Dr. Nefarious, whom he thought dead, due to his eagerness to sell out his rangers and let another planet be destroyed, just for endorsement. Meanwhile, the Blarg bring in New Quartu, a sort of hodge-podge of planets which.... kinda doesn't look like a planet, and more of a bad Lego sculpture of a sphere. However, Drek is backstabbed by Nefarious, by being turned into a sheep by one of the most ICONIC weapons, the Sheepinator, second only to one revealed in a later scene. And after that, is sent to New Quartu by Escape pod.
On Solana, Ratchet is solemnly working on ships once again, back where he started. However, Clank manages to pick him back up from his funk, and just in time, because the final target is planet Umbris, which has an unstable core that, if detonated, would WIPE OUT THE ENTIRE GALAXY! So, with one final plan, they head off to stop Nefarious from destroying the Galaxy.
On the Deplanetizer, Ratchet faces Qwark in a battle of morals.... and weapons. Ratchet manages to get through to Qwark's sense of justice, but Nefarious comes in, and tells the two WHY he's doing this, because in his career as a former Galactic Ranger, he was NEVER appreciated, and constantly mocked. However, Ratchet and Qwark DO manage to stop him, and end up saving the galaxy. Drek, however, is not so lucky, since the blast from the Deplanetizer was redirected towards New Quartu. With HIM on it. In the end, Ratchet is hailed as a hero, Qwark is demoted and placed in prison, and Nefarious? Well, if you've played the games, you should know what happened to him.
All in all, I liked this movie. It was a perfect little send up to the first game, and despite it bombing in the box office, the people I saw it with loved it. I give Ratchet and Clank 8 stars out of 10. That's just the way I see it. Anyway, this is the Rebel Angel, and I'll see you next time!
- Having the actual voice actors from the games.
- Sticking to the source material, with a little bit of NEW material
- The little references in the movie itself.
- Not enough time in a movie to REALLY tell Ratchet and Clank's story.