Susan Granger’s review of “Ratchet & Clank” (Gramercy Pictures)
Based on the popular PlayStation video game, this CG-animated feature from Rainmaker Entertainment basically reprises “Escape From Planet Earth” and/or “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” revolving around galactic heroes, a menacing mega-weapon and a bunch of aliens voiced by celebrities.
Rocket mechanic Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) is a Lombax, a sort of feline/squirrel with a tail similar to a lion, while his brainy, pint-sized buddy is Clank (voiced by David Kaye), a mellifluous, good-hearted robot from Orxon whom Ratchet saved from the junkyard. (Think WALL-E or R2D2).
Ratchet yearns to join an elite group called the Galactic Rangers (voiced by Rosario Dawson, Jim Ward, Bella Thorne, Dean Redman), led by egotistical, lantern-jawed Captain Qwark (voiced by Jim Ward).
His chance comes when he’s forced to defend his home, along with all the other planets in the Solana Galaxy, from destruction by a sinister Blarg, Chairman Drek (voiced by Paul Giamatti), and his cohorts: ruthless Victor Von Ion (voiced by Sylvester Stallone) and ex-Ranger mad scientist sidekick, Dr. Nefarious (voiced by Armin Shimerman).
Scripted by the game’s writer T.J. Fixman, along with Kevin Munroe and Gerry Swallow, it’s frantically directed by Munroe and Jericca Cleland, who try to use blaring sound and blinding color to distract from the unassailable conclusion that the media-melding, underdog plot is stale, the dialogue is blandly generic and, despite the pop culture hashtags, there’s no audience interaction.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Ratchet & Clank” is a derivative, tacky 3. Don’t bother.