Our Pledge To You


‘Ratchet & Clank’ falls short of originality points

The video game characters Ratchet and his smart but squat robot partner Clank star in their first movie. | GRAMERCY PICTURES

While watching “Ratchet & Clank,” a CG-animated film based on the long-running series of PlayStation video games, I kept getting a sense we’ve all been here before — both in animated and live-action presentations.

The attempt at edgy humor, the non-stop quips (some of which are truly funny), the everyman fighting an indomitable, forbidding and totally evil force out to rule the universe — all themes and images we’ve seen in “Star Wars,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and even “Deadpool.”

The repetition didn’t bother me. I just was hoping we’d get some new twists and more original storytelling this time around.

Our “odd couple” pairing, already familiar to fans of the games, includes Ratchet, a rodent-like “lombax,” who turns out to be an orphan and the last of his species. His partner is the robot Clank, whose programmed intelligence runs circles around the good-hearted and well-meaning Ratchet — who does, however, always seem to be the one on hand to save the day.

The movie centers on Ratchet and Clank’s struggle to keep the evil Chairman Drek (voiced beautifully by Paul Giamatti) from wiping out every other planet in the Solana Galaxy. It showcases the usual concepts of heroism, buddy teamwork and an array of other intriguing characters voiced by quite the array of well-known talent including Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, Sylvester Stallone and Bella Thorne.

Of course, the most important characters are the guys in the title, and James Arnold Taylor, the well-known voice actor who has delivered Ratchet’s voice since the beginning, and his partner David Kaye (Clank) are the driving forces here. They infuse subtle humor into all of their dialogue, and that does help keep things moving along.


Gramercy Pictures presents a film directed by Kevin Munroe and written by Munroe, T.J. Fixman and Gerry Swallow. Running time: 94 minutes. Rated PG (for action and some rude humor). Opens Friday at local theaters.