tek's rating: ¾

Ratchet & Clank (PG)
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This is based on a series of video games that I've never played. Apparently the movie did not do well either financially or critically, but I actually thought it was pretty good. I mean, not great, but reading anything negative about it only serves to enhance my positive opinion of it, somewhat defensively. I mean, damn, not every movie has to be freaking amazingly awesome, y'know? Sometimes just being good is good enough, yet some critics act like being a good movie means being a bad movie. (Or, maybe they just honestly didn't think it was good. Which is fine, because not everyone has to like the same things. But anyway, I liked it.)

So, the movie begins with this guy named Chairman Drek (voiced by Paul Giamatti), who is apparently the leader of an alien race called Blargs, using a weapon called the Deplanetizer to blow up an uninhabited planet, in the Solana galaxy. We soon learn from a news broadcast that several planets have recently been destroyed, but no one knows the cause. Because of this, the Galactic Rangers, which currently include four members, are going to be having tryouts for a fifth member to help them deal with the problem. And on planet Veldin, there's a spaceship mechanic named Ratchet (whom we later learn is apparently the last of his kind, a Lombax), who works in a garage with his adoptive father, Grim (John Goodman). Ratchet is a big fan of the Galactic Rangers, and particularly their leader, Captain Qwark. So he's eager to try out for the team. Unfortunately, Qwark quickly decides that Ratchet doesn't have what it takes to become a Ranger.

Meanwhile, Drek is already taking steps to eliminate the Rangers, before they can become a threat to his plans. He's hired a "vengeful scientist" named Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman) to build an army of warbots, to destroy the Rangers. However, due to a glitch, one of the warbots is defective. It's much smaller and less warlike than the others, and much smarter, and has no desire to kill anyone. So it decides to escape from the planet and warn the Rangers. But it's chased by Drek's own robotic lieutenant, Victor (Sylvester Stallone), who doesn't manage to stop the defective robot, but does damage its ship enough that it can't make it to the planet where the Rangers are headquartered. Instead, it crash lands on Veldin, and is rescued by Ratchet, who names it Clank. (And I guess at this point I'll start calling it "him" instead of "it.") Clank informs Ratchet of his intention to warn the Rangers, and Ratchet decides to take him to their planet. But by the time they get there, Drek's army is already engaged in battle with the Rangers. The Rangers do a pretty good job of fighting off the warbots, but ultimately there are just too many of them. And Ratchet and Clank manage to eliminate the remainder of the warbots, thus becoming instant media darlings (especially Ratchet), which forces the Rangers to invite them to join the team.

While Ratchet receives combat training, Clank is partnered with Elaris (Rosario Dawson), who designs tech and provides tactical support for the Rangers, rather than going into battle with them. I should mention, aside from Qwark and Elaris, the other two rangers are Cora Veralux (Bella Thorne) and Brax Lectrus (Vincent Tong). Qwark, Cora, and Brax don't treat Elaris with any respect, being more interested in shooting things than listening to anyone with actual ideas. Which means they're not going to treat Clank with any respect, either. And Ratchet is too caught up with finally being accepted by his heroes to stick up for Clank, even if it does seem like he has more respect for Clank and Elaris than the other Rangers do.

Beyond that, I really don't want to spoil any of what happens. But I found the movie fun, and amusing, and a somewhat dark, and unorthodox, and occasionally clever. Oh... and in my movie reviews, I usually like to mention if there's a bonus scene at the end of the closing credits. In this case, I... I have nothing to say about that. Nope. Nothing to say.


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