Insomniac franchise Ratchet & Clank is one of those whimsical cult hits. The characters look like they’re for kids, and they kind of are, but they have a dedicated following of older gamers because of their inventive gameplay and sense of humor.
Which makes the first trailer from the movie a total bummer. This isn’t the clever PlayStation game, it’s every other derivative kids cartoon movie you take your kid to.
Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank is your typical cartoon space adventure about a feline whippersnapper mechanic named Ratchet who is paired with a sentient robot to save the universe.
What makes the games awesome is the arsenal of unique and over-the-top weapons — the Glove of Doom, Suck Cannon, Morph-O-Ray, Walloper, Lava Gun, Spitting Hydra — that have become a signature of Insomniac’s Looney Tunes-from-Hell personality.
But regardless of your familiarity with the PlayStation games, the Ratchet & Clank movie looks like a bland matinee distraction. There are attempts at humor that aren’t funny. For example, the Sheepinator is hysterical in the games, but in the movie it looks like a bad joke — the kind that makes kids laugh because it’s so dumb. It’s a sheep and it goes ‘Baaah!’ Laugh, kids!
Ratchet & Clank premieres in theaters April 2016 from Focus Features and Gramercy Pictures.