Ratchet and Clank at the Movies

Late last month, Insomniac Games announced they are making a movie for the Ratchet and Clank Franchise.  According to James Stevenson, Community Lead at Insomniac Games, it will be an animated film set for release in 2015 and T.J. Fixman, who has written all the Ratchet and Clank games, will be writing the script for the film. Blockade Entertainment and Rainmaker Entertainment are making the film with Insomniac Games having a “hands-on” role on the production. In addition to this news, an announcement trailer was revealed. If by some chance you haven’t seen it yet, you can take a look below:

This is one of the most important video game movies to come around in a long time. It has a legitimate chance of being a good movie, something that hasn’t happened in the video-game film genre. Of the many great combinations that exist in the world, video games and movies are not one of them. Certain games have better translated into films than others but no video-game movie has ever been anything better than mediocre. It’s true that the Tomb Raider and Hitman franchises didn’t suffer as much as Doom or anything Uwe Boll has directed but that isn’t really saying much and once again, Tomb Raider and Hitman are more notable for “not-sucking’ than actually being good. The stigma surrounding video-game movies has gotten so bad that when a new one is announced every step is taken to “reassure’ the fanbase that their beloved franchise isn’t about to be butchered. If there is any intention of Ratchet and Clank being a good film then there are many obstacles to overcome. Luckily, the movie has a lot of good things going for it.

Rainmaker Entertainment, while not having much experience in film, is very capable at producing excellent animation. This is the studio that created Reboot and Beast Wars; two of the earliest and most celebrated CGI-animated television shows. This is a studio that knows how to tell a story, and how to be funny. Insomniac Games having a role is also important. While the term “hands-on” is a bit vague, at the very least Insomniac has one their writers penning the script. This means that the movie is being written by people who understand the franchise best. This doesn’t guarantee the film will do well however. Allow me to refresh your memory. Final Fantasy: the Spirits Within also had a lot of things going for it. It too, was a CGI-Animated film, it was being made entirely by Square, had an impressive list of actors and even had a lot of hype behind it. The film didn’t earn its own budget at the box office, making it a box office bomb. It goes to show that making a film is a lot different from making a video game.

I apologize for reminding you that this film exists.

However Ratchet and Clank has something else going for it, something more important than behind than involvement of Insomniac or the credentials of the animators; the marketability of the film. While I haven’t played the Ratchet and Clank games from what I can tell it appears to be a very family friendly franchise. This means that film has a larger target audience. Even if a movie is terrible it can still do well financially, this includes video-game movies. For example,  the Resident Evil movies while terrible, achieved box office success because they were marketed to the right audience. This is the most important ingredient because whether or not Ratchet and Clank succeeds is going to be decided by how much it appeals to non-gamers. The only other “family friendly” video-game film is Prince of Persia, which made $300 million at the box office, so at least there’s some precedence for success. So with that in mind, Ratchet and Clank has a chance to be the first “great” video-game film. Something that everyone, non-gamers and gamers will enjoy.

That’s what makes this film so important. Movies are much more accepted as an art form than video games among “normative” society. (That is, the same  part of society that thinks video games are violent because FOX news writes a story about it) If video games could break through the current stigma of the film adaptations it would be a stepping stone for the industry. Video games would become a more acceptable medium if it produced an enjoyable film. If Ratchet and Clank fails as a film than I can’t imagine there ever being a good video game movie. A lot of things need to happen in the next two years for this to movie to do good, between now and then I’m sure this topic will come up more than once. It’s a bit early to place bets, but I’m calling it now. I think the Ratchet and Clank movie will be the first “good’ video game movie.

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About Sam Hale

Autistic, young adult and lots on my mind.

Posted on May 9, 2013, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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