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NJ Kids Movie Review: Ratchet & Clank

Posted by: Jane Louise Boursaw - May 03, 2016

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: Inspired by the popular PlayStation video game franchise, this animated kids' movie follows a mechanic and his newfound robot ally who join an elite squad of combatants to save the universe.

Reel Rating: 3 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some rude humor   
Released in Theaters: April 29 (2D, 3D)
Best for Ages: 7+
Genre: Family, Based on a Video Game
Runtime: 94 minutes
Directed by: Kevin Monroe, Jericca Cleland
Studio: Focus Features
Cast: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, Paul Giamatti

MOVIE REVIEW: If you or your kids played the popular PlayStation video game that "Ratchet & Clank" is based on, you'll probably get more out of the movie than if you hadn't. From a purely story/production quality viewpoint, there's nothing groundbreaking here when it comes to kids' movies. But it does have the requisite heartfelt messages about teamwork and doing what's right - and that's never a bad thing.

The story follows maniacal villain Chairman Drek (voiced wonderfully by Paul Giamatti), who's destroying planets and taking bits of each one to build his version of a perfect planet. But never fear, the Galactic Rangers are on the job.

Then there's Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor), a lombax with a big heart who works as a mechanic but dreams of being a superhero. When the Rangers put a call out for a new member, Ratchet just might get the chance to be a hero, with the help of a "defective" robot named Clank (David Kaye).

"Ratchet & Clank" features some great voices, including Bella Thorne, Sylvester Stallone, John Goodman and Rosario Dawson. And it's a bright, colorful movie that will keep kids' attention. But, as mentioned, it will no doubt appeal more to viewers familiar with the PlayStation video game upon which it's based. That whole nostalgia factor.

It doesn't really stand alone as its own movie. Rather, it plays like a video game that was turned into a movie, and the 3D doesn't really help the somewhat flat animation. It also has an ongoing sarcastic thread throughout, which while funny at first, gets old fast.

On the other hand, if you're a grownup in need of an hour-and-a-half nap, take your kids to see "Ratchet & Clank"!

PARENT OVERVIEW: "Ratchet & Clank" isn't quite as edgy as the video game upon which it's based, but there is some body humor (barfing, etc.) and lots of cartoon violence in the way of explosions, space battles and peril. The story offers messages about the importance of friendship, teamwork, doing the right thing and being humble.

PARENT DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):

Violence/Gore: Characters use blasters and other weapons, and there's cartoon violence and space battles throughout. Lots of explosions, including planets, and characters are threatened and in peril, especially from a maniacal villain.

Sex/Nudity: None.

Profanity: None.  

Drugs/Alcohol: None.

JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:

One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

By Jane Boursaw.  Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at jboursaw@charter.net. Images in this review used courtesy of the studio and distributor.

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Posted by: Jane Louise Boursaw| May 03, 2016
Keywords:  Famiy Movie Review
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