The Chairman (voice of Paul Giamatti) of Drek Industries has a plan. Using the deplanetizer, a terrible war machine invented by Doctor Nefarious (Armin Shimerman), he destroys planets in the Solana Galaxy with the idea of cobbling together one perfect world from the remains.
On the other side of the quickly disappearing galaxy Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a rambunctious mechanic with dreams of one day becoming a Galactic Ranger like his hero Captain Qwark (Jim Ward). Trouble is, he’s a Lombax—ie: a “cat thingy”—and far too small. “Dream smaller,” says his grandfather (John Goodman). “There’s less disappointment that way.”
Rejected by the Rangers as “a weak, muscle less mass of weakness,” Ratchets gets a second chance to do his duty when a helper bot named Clank (David Kaye doing a C3PO impression) crash lands on his planet. Together they are a formidable team who aid the Rangers in the battle against Drek but is being a hero all Ratchet thought it would be?
“Ratchet and Clank” is sci-fi for kids too young for Kylo Ren’s nasty father issues. Starring an underdog character whose disappointment will turn into triumph, its colourful and constantly-in-motion-design will entertain young eyes but is unlikely to engage their brains.
There are lessons about everything young folks need to be successful and happy—not allowing a swelled head to get in the way of doing the job, the virtues of teamwork, friendship and perseverance, being true to who you are, treating people (or aliens) with respect, thinking before you act and even, for Kardashian wannabees in the audience, a warning against the seduction of fame. That’s enough life lessons here to make self-help guru Dale Carnegie’s head spin but that’s the kind of movie this is. There is always something happening, a joke, a moral or more complicated world building. It’s busy, as if the filmmakers didn’t trust the characters to maintain the interest of young minds. Didn’t like that storyline? Don’t worry there’ll be another one shortly.
“Ratchet and Clank,” with its so-so animation and excitable nature is less a move than a PlayStation 2 game blown up for the big screen.