Released in unison with an updated version of the videogame (which originally came out in 2002 on the PS2), this colourful animated film adaptation is squarely aimed at a young audience already enamoured with the mismatched duo of Ratchet and Clank and their space adventures.
It gets off to a strong start, with some odd humour and meta charm but as that dissipates it turns into a formulaic snooze fest. Which is a real shame, because the voice cast of James Arnold Taylor, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti and John Goodman all do a good job with what they are given.
The galaxy is at peril due to the maniacal actions of Chairman Drek, who is blowing up planets seemingly at random. Ratchet is a young mechanic who aspires for bigger things, and so when the opportunity to try out for the Galactic Rangers (a motley bunch who protect the universe) comes up he goes for it. At first rejected, he eventually proves his mettle with the help of a malfunctioning droid.
If this all sounds a bit familiar then it’s because it’s all been done before, but that’s something the film recognises and attempts to play with until it forgets about it. It nods to sci-fi classics such as Star Trek, with the introduction of the obnoxious Captain Qwark giving a grand speech about the final frontier, and the pairing of the cheeky Ratchet with the straight-laced, brainy Clank recalls a certain duo from Star Wars.
Their playful back and forth is delightful though considering the title of the film not enough is made of their relationship and they don’t spend that much time together. Clank instead spends a lot of his time with Elaris. Sylvester Stallone turns up as an aggressive metal chomping robot who looks a bit like a transformer, and Paul Giamatti once again convincingly reigns terror as Chairman Drek.
Ultimately, Ratchet & Clank is an occasionally amusing mishmash of sci-fi fare that delivers a sweet message about doing the right thing and a warning about the hazards of fame and spending too much time on social media.