Action Adaptation

'Ratchet & Clank' Blu-ray Review: Saving the galaxy, one level at a time

August 24, 2016Ben MK

Buddy action-comedies have been a mainstay of the multiplex landscape since the eighties, from Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in 48 Hours, to Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Central Intelligence. Well, now they can all move aside, because there's a new dynamic duo in town. And their names are Ratchet and Clank.

Based on developer Insomniac Games' Sony Playstation game series of the same name, Ratchet & Clank tells a Star Wars like story about a mechanically-inclined underdog — a Lombax named Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) — from a desert world — Planet Veldin — who teams up with a diminutive robot — a defective warbot nicknamed Clank (David Kaye) — to stop a megalomaniacal villain — Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) of the alien race the Blarg — from using his monstrous weapon — the Deplanetizer — to destroy the Solana Galaxy, one planet at a time.

But Ratchet and Clank aren't the only ones standing between the denizens of Solana and certain annihilation. The Galactic Rangers, led by the self-righteous Captain Qwark (Jim Ward), are technically the galaxy's appointed protectors. As a result, Ratchet and Clank must prove themselves worthy of joining the Rangers, before they can jet off to Planet Quartu to confront Drek and his army of warbots. Little do any of them realize, however, that Drek and the mad scientist Dr. Nefarious (Armin Shimerman) have cooked up a scheme targeting the Rangers themselves.

Directed by Kevin Munroe and Jericca Cleland, what follows is fairly straightforward riff on the "zero to hero" genre, in which Ratchet learns what it truly means to be a hero, and even imparts this newfound wisdom on the characters around him along the way. Full of puns, callbacks to the videogames, and voice acting from the likes of Rosario Dawson, Bella Thorne and Sylvester Stallone, the result will certainly amuse those who grew up on the games. But in the end, those who will get the most mileage out of Ratchet & Clank are viewers 12 and under.

No matter what your age, it's impossible not to be gobsmacked by Ratchet & Clank's Blu-ray technical presentation. The flawless picture quality is the perfect showcase for all of the movie's alien species, futuristic technology and interplanetary locales; impeccable color saturation highlights the film's vibrant and varied color palette, from Ratchet's bright orange fur to Captain Qwark's mostly green protosuit; and the blacks of space are deep and fully absorbing, with first-rate contrast to make the 1080p image pop in scene after scene. As for the audio, the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix almost never lets up, filling the air with activity, from spaceship thrusters, explosions and laser fire, to robotic voices, metallic clangs, and all manner of whooshes, beeps and bloops.

Universal's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Ratchet & Clank: A Hero's Journey (7:32) - Director Kevin Munroe and stars James Arnold Taylor and Bella Thorne talk about Ratchet's heroic journey and the lessons he learns along the way.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Leveling Up (4:21) - Munroe, Taylor and Thorne talk about the movie as a buddy comedy and comment on the challenges of transitioning the franchise from gaming consoles to the big screen.

Ratchet & Clank is available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment as of August 23rd, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish and French DTS 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 34 Mins.

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