The Ratchet and Clank movie is a charming, inoffensive. If not particularly memorable adaptation of the beloved PlayStation series. While it’s a colorful adventure with some solid performances from a great crew of actors. It ultimately can’t stand tall in the shadow of its far-superior PS4 counterpoint.
The movie tells the story of Ratchet. A plucky young Lombax who yearns to leave behind his life as a mechanic on a backwater planet and become a Galactic Ranger, just like his hero Captain Qwark. Along the way, he befriends a cute little robot named Clank. Finds himself at the heart of an interstellar conspiracy, and ultimately tasked with going through the classic hero’s journey. The idea of an optimistic farm-boy who yearns to meet his hero and ultimately find his place in the vast universe isn’t wholly original. The flow of the movie is very Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The movie (phim chieu rap) is relationship with the recently-released PlayStation 4 game is interesting in that they both tell the same story. But certain events in one shed light on gaps and motivations in the other. While experiencing both gives you a full picture of the story. Those who don’t want to play the game will be able to follow along with the plot of the movie just fine. That said, there are some strange transitions and massive leaps in logic that left me scratching my head as to why certain events were unfolding on screen.
The voice acting is pretty great across the board. From James Arnold Taylor and David Kaye who’ve portrayed the main characters for the past decade, to guest spots by folks like John Goodman and Rosario Dawson, scenes unfold with a great sense of energy. The film’s villains lack any sort of coherent motivation as to why they’re trying to take over the universe. A bit of backstory or depth to these characters would’ve gone a long way.
Overall, I can’t help but feel disappointed that the movie doesn’t reach the heights of its video game companion. One of my main gripes with the movie is that it’s completely missing some of the core tenets that have made the game series so great for nearly 15 years. For example, while the games manage to tow that wonderful Pixar line that appeals on different levels to kids and adults alike, the jokes, themes, and scenarios of the animation film (phim hoat hinh vien tuong) rarely contain any of that depth. I could totally see a younger audience laughing at some of the base gags. But especially compared to recent animated gems like Zootopia. Ratchet is completely devoid of mature themes or any real message.
Also missing from the movie are the fantastic array of weird, creative weapons and gadgets that added so much fun. And personality to the games. The movie’s action scenes are lifeless, and don’t serve to grow the characters in any meaningful or entertaining way. You’d think that this adaptation would want to dig into this arsenal of strange, bombastic tools of destruction. But the movie is oddly devoid of action scenes featuring any of the series’ iconic weapons.
Ratchet and Clank (Dac Vu Ga Mo) is not a bad movie by any means. Especially when compared to some of the downright-terrible video game adaptations of the past two decades. But given the humor, action, and sense of adventure of the games. The movie is ultimately a competent, shallow, disappointing take on the adventures of the plucky Lombax and his robot buddy. My advice is to stick to the stellar PlayStation 4 game.