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Ratchet & Clank is a computer-animated movie based on the original Ratchet & Clank game released in 2002 which ties in directly with the 2016 Ratchet & Clank game, produced by Rainmaker Entertainment with some assistance from Insomniac Games and Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the first movie released in the Ratchet & Clank series. It was directed by Kevin Munroe who wrote the film along with Gerry Swallow and series writer T.J. Fixman. The movie is a re-imagining of the original Ratchet & Clank, and retells the origin story of Ratchet and Clank, as they join Captain Qwark and the Galactic Rangers to try to stop Chairman Drek from destroying the Solana Galaxy.

The movie was first teased on April 23, 2013, with the release announced for 2015.[3][4] The script writer was originally TJ Fixman, with Jericca Cleland as the director,[4] though the final film was written and directed by Kevin Munroe. The film released in April 29, 2016. On May 13, 2015, the film's release date was announced for April 29, 2016.[5] The film released in theaters on April 29, distributed by Gramercy Pictures, just over two weeks after the release of the 2016 game. Unlike the game, the film received unfavorable reviews from critics, and performed poorly at the box office.

Along with the game, the film also released alongside novels Ratchet & Clank: The Movie Novel and Ratchet & Clank: Hero Time.

Synopsis

Setting

The movie's story and setting are very similar to the original Ratchet & Clank game, with a few differences. In-universe, the movie is a holo-film based on the original events that occurred in the game,[6] and a movie named Ratchet & Clank: The Motion Picture was released after its events.[7]

The story is set in the Solana Galaxy, populated by a variety of alien races and sentient robots. Ratchet is a young spaceship mechanic who lives in a garage owned by Grimroth Razz on the backwater planet Veldin, while Clank is created in a Drek Industries robot factory on Quartu, a world once home to the blarg before it became too polluted to be inhabitable. The Rangers also visit Kerwan, an urban planet with the enormous Aleero City.

The galaxy is home to Drek Industries, a blarg corporation owned by Chairman Alonzo Drek, whose army of warbots created by Dr. Nefarious and led by Victor Von Ion is destroying them with a Deplanetizer. Meanwhile, President Phyronix commissions the Galactic Rangers, led by Captain Qwark, to find a new recruit and help stop Drek. Reporters Dallas Wanamaker and Juanita Alvaro provide commentary.

Plot

Beginning in the Deplanetizer above planet Tenemule, Chairman Drek and his fellow blarg watch as the Deplanetizer fires upon Tenemule and destroys it. A news report by Dallas Wanamaker states that three other unpopulated planets have also disappeared mysteriously along with Tenemule. On Veldin, Ratchet learns that the Galactic Rangers, whom he admires, will be visiting Veldin to find a recruit to help deal with Drek. Ratchet attempts to join, but is rejected.

Later, Chairman Drek, alongside his lieutenant Victor Von Ion, visits his chief scientist Dr. Nefarious to oversee his production of a warbot army. A lightning bolt hits the factory, causing the system to produce a defect, a small but intelligent robot. This defect learns of Drek's plans, and attempts to escape to Kerwan to warn the Rangers. Victor chases the defect out, and damages his shuttle as he takes off, causing him to crash land on Veldin. Ratchet recovers his ship, takes him to his garage, and names him Clank, where he tells Ratchet about the attack.

Ratchet and Clank fly to Kerwan, where they destroy a warship and thus save the Rangers from an army of warbots led by Victor. After reporters put Qwark on the spot, he recruits Ratchet and Clank to the Rangers, with Ratchet joining Brax Lectrus and Cora Veralux as field operatives, while Clank is assigned to mission support with Elaris. Ratchet stumbles through his accelerator training course, and Qwark begins to grow jealous of Ratchet's newfound fame. Clank and Elaris discuss Elaris' situation as tactical support, in which she is mostly ignored by the others and given a low budget, and Elaris tells Clank about the previous tactical support, Dr. Nefarious, who turned evil after conditions drove him mad. They then both discover the blarg have been using the Deplanetizer to extract portions from destroyed planets containing famous landmarks, though after trying to tell the Rangers, are ignored.

After briefing, the Rangers infiltrate Quartu's factory, and fight an army of Mr. Zurkons. Qwark encounters Drek, who convinces him to join Drek's side in order to boost his image in spite of Ratchet and Clank's popularity, which Qwark accepts so long as Drek agrees not to hurt the Rangers. The other Rangers learn that the blarg are planning to build a replacement planet, named New Quartu, as Quartu has been polluted beyond surface habitation. Interrogating Zed, Drek's assistant, they learn the next target is Novalis, a populated planet, and the Rangers resolve to attack the Deplanetizer and stop it.

As the Rangers assault the Deplanetizer, Qwark deactivates the Rangers' weapons at the behest of Drek, as he heads into the Deplanetizer claiming to the Rangers' confusion that he will "reason with" Drek. Victor, seeing an opportunity, boards the Rangers' flagship to attack Clank, who subdues him using a rainstorm-producing weapon and causing him to rust. As the other Rangers withdraw, Ratchet boards the station alone, with his ship destroyed on the way in. Ratchet is captured by Drek's Mag-Net Launcher, who directs him to a shuttle off the station saying he wants Ratchet to live to see his failures. On the way, Ratchet spots Qwark standing by, and realizes his treachery. Novalis is then destroyed, and the Rangers can only watch. Ratchet exiles himself to Veldin.

Qwark confronts Drek for going back on his word, while Dr. Nefarious appears and mocks him for selling out the Rangers. Qwark expresses surprise at Nefarious' presence, having though he had died in a prison breakout, but Nefarious ushers him out. After leaving, Nefarious then uses the Sheepinator to morph Drek into a sheep, then throws him onto an escape pod and ejects him to New Quartu, so he can take over the Deplanetizer. Meanwhile, Clank and the Rangers find Ratchet on Veldin and eventually convince him to return. They then learn from Zed that Umbris is the next target, and discover that Nefarious intends to destroy it due to its unstable core that would annihilate other nearby planets were it destroyed, so that he can exact revenge on the Rangers by destroying planets under their watch.

With Ratchet suggesting they listen to Elaris, the Rangers attack the Deplanetizer, with Ratchet and Clank using the Hologuise to disguise as Qwark and infiltrate, while the other Rangers prepare to use Mag Boosters to move it off target. Ratchet and Clank are intercepted by Qwark on their way to the Deplanetizer's core, and a battle ensues. Ratchet pleads with Qwark to stop, and Qwark eventually realizes he has been used. Nefarious then appears and bemoans them, telling them that Qwark's mistreatment caused him to leave the Rangers, and he plans to destroy the galaxy to exact revenge. The Deplanetizer fires, though the Rangers successfully moved the Deplanetizer off course to hit New Quartu instead, destroying Drek as he is still on the planet. Nefarious falls into the chamber of the Deplanetizer's laser below, seemingly disintegrating. Ratchet, Clank, and Qwark barely escape through a teleporter as the station falls towards Umbris.

The Rangers return to Kerwan to a hero's welcome. The demoted Private Qwark promoting his apology tour and releasing an autobiography, Look, I Said I Was Sorry, Alright?, telling reporter Juanita to prepare to be blown away by his "epic humility". Ratchet meanwhile returned to Veldin to work for Grim, while Clank arrives, and Ratchet promises to rejoin the Rangers if he is needed.

In a mid-credits scene, Nefarious emerges ifrom the Deplanetizer's wreckage on Umbris in a robotic form, after repair bots had converted him. After the credits, the Plumber scolds the audience for not leaving the theater yet.

Cast

The film features several voice actors from the series reprising their respective roles, along with new cast members and characters. The plan from the beginning was to feature the original voice cast with talks to feature a celebrity cast, many of whom were fans of the games.[4]

Production

Development

Insomniac Games had believed that the Ratchet & Clank series was suitable for a movie for a long time.[10][11] After the rights had been sought after by various producers of the years, a deal with Rainmaker and Blockade made the movie a reality.[10]

TJ Fixman wrote the original draft for the script.[4][12] The rest of Insomniac played a role in the film's production early on, guiding the film's creative vision, helping with marketing, and providing consultation on animation and design. The in-game models served as a reference point, and were used during pre-visualization.[4]

Four locations of the main story were established: planet Veldin, Aleero City on planet Kerwan, Drek's warbot factory on planet Quartu, and Drek's Deplanetizer.[11]

The teaser trailer was released on the 23rd of April 2013 by Sony Computer Entertainment to announce the Ratchet & Clank movie.[3][4] The teaser is a short two minute teaser written by series writer TJ Fixman,[13] which features Qwark reading a promotional statement, before complaining to Ratchet and Clank about the lack of 3D, CG explosions, and dubstep, and finally incurring the wrath of the animators. It was the number one trending video on YouTube following its release.[14] The following day, TJ Fixman expanded more on the writing in his blog, announcing that he had written the movie.[12]

Writing

TJ Fixman wrote the original draft for the script.[4][12] He also wrote scripts for two following Ratchet & Clank movies.[15] As some point, writer-director Kevin Munroe took charge of the script, and after TJ Fixman's original draft had been handed down to him, it had been dramatically altered and would change at multiple points.[16]

In TJ Fixman's draft, the Biobliterator would be mentioned in the story, as its nanobots would be used to repair Brax Lectrus' arm to a robotic arm.[17] TJ Fixman also revealed another piece of the draft, featuring Drek, Zed, and Victor, which barely resembled the final film.[18]

Though TJ Fixman had enjoyed working with Insomniac and Sony, he called the writing experience for the film "stressful", and claimed that he would not go back into the same situation again.[19]

Production

All assets, rigs, models, and elements necessary to create the film were created from scratch, using the original in-game models from scratch. Using existing art allowed the producers to lower the cost during this stage of development.[4] Insomniac concept artists Greg Baldwin and Dave Guertin were visual designers for both the game and the film.[11]

Rainmaker employees Tom Tanaka and Oliver Wade, the head of story and animation producer respectively, had coincidentally both worked on the original Ratchet & Clank in 2002, with Tom developing some of the first development visuals, and Oliver as the lead animation director for the game.[20]

Throughout production, Rainmaker and Insomniac had a healthy partnership to retain creative vision between the two, and film assets were usable for the 2016 game.[11]

Release

The film was delayed from a 2015 release to a 2016 release, due to release windows and market competitiveness.[11] The film released theatrically in North America on April 29, 2016, distributed by Gramercy Pictures, a division of Focus Features, while it was released internationally by Lionsgate and Cinema Management Group.

The film was released in home media by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on Digital HD on August 2, 2016, and on Blu-ray and DVD on August 23, 2016.[21]

Reception

Box office

Ratchet & Clank grossed $8.8 million in North America and $4.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $13 million.[2]

Pre-release tracking suggested the film would gross $8–10 million from 2,891 theaters in its opening weekend, trailing Keanu (with a $10–14 million projection) and Mother's Day (with a $11 million projection).[22] The film finished at 7th at the box office and grossed just $4.9 million in its opening weekend.[23] Following this, Rainmaker announced an impairment charge on their $10 million investment. The film's producer Michael Hefferon stated that the "huge success of The Jungle Book, and continued strength of Zootopia, represented a loss of a large portion of the family market". He went on to say "Although support from the Ratchet & Clank fan base has been positive, the turnout for the film was not sufficient to overcome the highly competitive market place for the opening weekend of the film."[24] In its second weekend, the film grossed just $1.5 million (a drop of 70%), finishing 9th at the box office.[25]

The movie caused Rainmaker Entertainment to lose around $10 million.[12]

Critical response

The Ratchet & Clank film was poorly received by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 17%, based on 69 reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ratchet & Clank may satisfy very young viewers, but compared to the many superior options available to families and animation enthusiasts, it offers little to truly recommend."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 29/100, based on 19 reviews.[27]

James Stevenson noted that Insomniac Games considered the film a success from their standpoint, saying that the core fans had "really loved the movie overall".[28]

Gallery

References

  1. Kevin Munroe Talks ‘Ratchet & Clank’. Animation World Network. Accessed April 29, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ratchet & Clank (2016). Box Office Mojo - Summary. Accessed June 10, 2017.
    Ratchet & Clank (2016) - Foreign. Box Office Mojo. Accessed July 4, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ratchet & Clank Movie Announcement - Teaser published by PlayStation on April 23, 2013 on YouTube. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Ratchet and Clank Animated Movie Headed to Theaters. IGN. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  5. Ratchet & Clank Movie Releases April 29, 2016 in US. IGN. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  6. Ratchet & Clank (2016 game), Captain Qwark: They're making a game based on a holo-film based on my life?
  7. Ratchet & Clank (2002 game) Extras § "Epilogue gallery", contains a poster for Ratchet & Clank: The Motion Picture
  8. Sneak peek: 'Ratchet & Clank' takes buddy comedy to space. USA Today. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  9. 20 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About "Ratchet & Clank" from Director Kevin Munroe. IndieWire. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 ‘Ratchet & Clank’ Games Get Film Treatment (EXCLUSIVE). Variety. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 ​Ratchet & Clank (2016) postmortem. Gamasutra. Accessed January 21, 2018.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 At Long Last: Ratchet & Clank, The Movie!. Wordpress (tjfixman). Accessed September 1, 2018.
  13. Twitter logo Tweet by @TJFixman on Twitter.
  14. Twitter logo Tweet by @TJFixman on Twitter.
  15. 15 Years of Ratchet & Clank: A Lombax Story (@47:45) published by GDC on June 26, 2018 on YouTube. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  16. Twitter logo Tweet by @TJFixman on Twitter.
  17. Twitter logo Tweet by @TJFixman on Twitter.
  18. Twitter logo Tweet by @TJFixman on Twitter.
  19. ​20 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About “Ratchet & Clank” from Director Kevin Munroe. IndieWire. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  20. RATCHET & CLANK Hits Digital HD 8/9 and Blu-ray & DVD 8/23. Pre-Order It Today!. Ramascreen. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  21. Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ to Lead Third Weekend in a Row Ahead of ‘Keanu’. TheWrap. Accessed April 26, 2016.
  22. "Jungle Book" Still Hot In Third Weekend With $35M-$36M; "Mother's Day" Has Edge Over "Keanu". Deadline Hollywood. Accessed {{{access-date}}}.
  23. Rainmaker Entertainment Provides Financial Update With Respect to Ratchet & Clank Domestic Release. Marketwired. Accessed May 8, 2016.
  24. Disney’s Spoils Of "Civil War": $61M+ Saturday As ‘Captain America’ Heads To $181.8M. Deadline Hollywood. Accessed May 8, 2016.
  25. Ratchet & Clank (2016). Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  26. Ratchet & Clank reviews. Metacritic. Accessed September 1, 2018.
  27. ​Insomniac Games Talks Ratchet & Clank – Movie, Sequel and Remasters. PlayStation LifeStyle. Accessed January 21, 2018.