Posted: September 10, 2016 in Children's / Teenage Movies, random thoughts on film and stuff, Sci - fi
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With over 10 games in their arsenal since their first appearance in 2002 it was only a matter of time before the dynamic duo of Ratchet and Clank made it to the big screen (well across  a limited number of cinema screens) 2016 would be the year of this event and also the year that a revamped reboot / remake of the original game would hit Playstation 4’s across the world. With such a back catalogue of adventures and a wide fan base across the years, it’s a risky move reinventing two iconic gaming characters for a cinematic audience especially as the creators would be hoping to keep fans of the games happy while also not alienating people new to the franchise.  How does this film hold up? Does it succeed where many video game adaptions fail? (*shudder* street fighter: the legend of Chun li)
What they have created is basically an origins story which treads on some of the frame work of the games (albeit not quite as deeply due to the run time and lack of interaction). This allows those new to everything a brilliant way in while also kind of keeping fans of the games happy. [I’ll just say that I have played some of the games but have never been a diehard fan. I like the characters and the stories but I could never find myself fully absorbed]
For those new to the franchise, the film follows the adventures of Ratchet, a foolhardy Lombax (feline like alien) and his companion Clank, a small self aware robot who was created in an accident. The two travel across the galaxy trying to stop the universe destroying plans of the evil Chairman Drek and his robot armies.
There is nothing amazing original to the proceedings and the story is as you’d expect a film like this to be even down to the pacing. This isn’t a bad thing and it makes everything accessible to all audiences while not being to heavy or draining on the mind. Its a fun adventure and one that never outstays it’s welcome. The first half is in my opinion stronger then the second but that is only my opinion.
The visuals are surprisingly good for a film like this. I expected a cheap looking cash in but was greeted with some bright beautiful animation which could easily be up there with some of the best we’ve seen from the later game sin the franchise. It all feels crisp and clean while not being garish and distracting. The action sequences are truly stunning and at times it’s hard to not be truly engrossed. The great visuals are complimented by some truly amazing audio. The voice work is brilliant from the cast of the games (with both Ratchet and Clank being voiced by the original artists) and also features some big names such as Paul Giamatti, Sylvester Stallone and even John Goodman. Everyone performs brilliantly and cannot be faulted in their commitment to the characters on screen. The musical score is a beautiful collection of melodies that just fit the visuals perfectly; From industrial factories through to open hillsides, everywhere has it’s own feel and it’s own sound.
There are a lot of in references to the games as you’d probably expect (and even some clever references to other Playstation game franchise’s). We have a lot of the weapons arsenal that made the games stand out in the third person shooter market that, at the time was becoming quite large and samey. We also have most of the main charters from the games aiding our intrepid duo on their mission. This helps as each person has their own feel that helps distinguish them from the crowd and helps elevate the film higher.
That isn’t to say that everything is perfect. I found at times the lip syncing was a bit off which is often an issue with animation. It never detracted much but occasionally it would draw me out of the film. It also feels like there is something missing form the film, that little spark that just says the film is awesome. I can’t put my finger on it but there is definitely something.
So when all is said and done is it a good film? Yes. I really enjoyed it and would be happy to watch it again. I hope that sequels are made as the big screen does bring these characters to life in ways the games never did for me. Its a great family film even if it isn’t the most original out there. I’m happy to recommend this film to everyone even with it’s few flaws.

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