There have been plenty of successful and popular video games that have been turned into movies with the hope that the games’ popularity will generate box office success. One such animated feature film has been added to Netflix‘s library. Ratchet and Clank is a 2016 animated film based on the popular video game series from Insomniac Games. The film features the voices of James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet, David Kaye as Clank, and other voices provided by name actors such as Armin Shimerman, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, and Sylvester Stallone.
Chairman Drek (Giamatti) and the Blarg (his people) are taking apart planets in the Solana Galaxy one by one to harvest materials needed for their construction of an artificial planet, New Quartu. The Blarg need this new planet as theirs is uninhabitable from pollution.
But the destruction of planets has gained the attention of the space peacekeepers, the Galactic Rangers.
On Drek’s failing planet, a defective robot comes to life, and flies to the planet Kerwan, home of the Galactic Rangers, but is shot down on the planet Veldin before he can reach Kerwan. On the ground, the robot encounters a lombax spaceship mechanic named Ratchet. Having no name, Ratchet calls the robot Clank and the two decide to team up to fly to Kerwan.
On Kerwan, Ratchet and Clank save the Rangers from Drek’s warbots, making the duo extremely popular on the planet. They now become honorary Rangers.
Captain Qwark is the leader of the Galactic Rangers and immediately becomes jealous of Ratchet and Clank’s popularity. Sensing this, Drek approaches Qwark to help him. Qwark agrees as long as Drek promises not to hurt any of his Galactic Rangers. Can Qwark be trusted?
Things seem to be working out between the two when Dr. Nefarious (Shimerman), Drek’s evil chief scientist, takes over the planet-destroying superweapon, the Deplanetizer. Nefarious’ intent is to destroy the entire Solana Galaxy as revenge on Qwark, who mistreated Nefarious when he was a Ranger.
Ratchet and Clank take up the battle against Qwark, who finally realizes that he’s been used by Drek. Do Ratchet and Clank have what it takes to save the rest of the galaxy against Nefarious and the Deplanetizer?
Hopes were high for the animated feature. The video game series was popular enough to warrant a venture on the big screen as Insomniac Community Lead, James Stevenson remarked on the PlayStation Blog, “One of the biggest questions we’ve gotten in the last few years is ‘When are you going to make a Ratchet & Clank movie?’ The truth is, we’ve wanted to do a movie for a long time! Ratchet & Clank’s action, humor, and galaxy-spanning adventures have really been the basis for a fantastic game series, and we think it would translate perfectly to the big screen.”
Unfortunately, as with many video games turned into feature films, this one didn’t work.
Critics were less than enthusiastic about the Ratchet and Clank movie and fans of the game did not flock to the movie theater. The film was a family one but even that wasn’t enough to bring audiences to movie complexes.
Kevin Monroe directed the animated action-adventure and also wrote the script alongside T.J. Fixman, and Gerry Swallow. The film was made for $20 million but didn’t even see a $15 million return at the box office.
These disappointing numbers are quite a surprise, based on the popularity of the video games. The first game, aptly titled Ratchet & Clank, came to the PlayStation 2 console way back in 2002. The franchise’s second game, Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, came nearly a year after the first and kept the popularity of the series moving forward.
There were two more games that were considered in the original series, and they were Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, and Ratchet: Deadlocked. As you may have noticed in the latter’s title, Deadlocked marks the first time Clank was not included in the game.
The franchise continued when the PlayStation 3 console was introduced. These games included Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus.
After an eight-year gap, the gaming franchise returns for the new PlayStation 5 console with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Ratchet & Clank is one of the most popular video game series for PlayStation. It is no wonder there were such high hopes for the feature film. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on Netflix. Maybe now the family-friendly film will resonate as filmmakers intended. Let us know what you think.