Movies based on video games are a rough subgenre to find yourself watching. They’re often incapable of deciding whether they want to straight up adapt the video game franchise, function as their own story, or occupy some strange middle ground between the two. Ratchet & Clank winds up being one of those middle ground movies, but it’s still one of the better video game adaptations.
Shame that it wasn’t more unique as the plot manages to take the quirky, irreverent, Looney Tunes-esque characters from the video game franchise and smooth them out into generic shapes and archetypes. Plenty of animated films showcase shallow characters in their main roles, but the Galactic Rangers, corporate bad guys, and mad scientists on display here feel like loners from the back of central casting. Oh well, at least the animation is uniformly nice, there’s sparks of life and insouciant humor, and a few of the voice actors make a positive impression (John Goodman going gruff but sweet, Sylvester Stallone in self-parody mode, and Paul Giamatti playing oilly even in animation).
The video games have personality and verve bursting from every polygon and double entendre laced title. Frankly, you’d be better served skipping out on this and playing the PS4 game instead. That manages to strike a successful balance between developed characters, nice animation, an engaging story, and providing a sense of infectious anarchy that’s quite pleasing.