Monday, May 9, 2016

Turns out you were right. I should dream smaller.

It's readily apparent that, almost seven years ago, everything went smoothly at the hospital. The safeguards put in place to make sure the worst thing ever doesn't happen? Totally worked, I'm sure of it. That little ball of goo my wife and I brought home in the fall of 2009? Definitely belongs to me.

Unless, of course, another new father also happened to be a mostly indifferent nerd. Because if that's the case, well, I might have his kid. 

Either way, at this point, I'm keeping him (I'll get back to you when he's twelve).

Like one of the maybe dozen or so people on the planet, my son had not only heard of, but also desperately wanted to see, the movie version of Ratchet & Clank. Based on a series of Sony Playstation games, the latest of which we own, my kiddo was impossibly (and improbably) jazzed to see this flick on the big screen. And being that 99% of the time, I'm the one dragging him to the movies, I rewarded his enthusiasm the best way I know how: we went on opening night.

Which is a Friday. As in, immediately after work Friday. 

As in, wow that was a long blink Friday.

From what I can cobble together from slipping in and out of consciousness, Ratchet & Clank tells the story of a group of super heroes known as the Galactic Rangers combating an evil villain named Chairman Drek. Drek and his cronies have been blowing up planets, and the Rangers decide to hold tryouts to bolster their squad. Super fan/cat-thingy Ratchet shows up, armed with little more than overwhelming enthusiasm. Like any underdog story, the kid is sent packing as the Rangers search for someone bigger and stronger. Brains and heart aren't going to cut it this time. If only there was some crazy alien invasion, where Ratchet could unexpectedly save the day on national television, thereby showing the entire world his true worth.

If only.

Look, the world has flatly rejected this movie (it may be the first animated movie in a couple of years to end its theatrical run with less than 10 million dollars...uh, total), and honestly, I dozed off for portions of it myself (like, three-quarter portions of it), but if my almost seven-year-old son has any say, it's really, really good. Like, maybe the best movie ever, Dad. And if you can't trust a little kid hopped up on buttered popcorn (something we never order, and in fact, didn't orer) and Coke Zero, well, who can you trust?

Oh, right. The Yays and Boos. Though they're turning five tomorrow, so take their opinions with a grain of salt. Actually, a lot more than a grain, you know? Like a bucket full.

Surprising no one...that's John Goodman's character, Grimroth.
  • So, you might not know it, but this movie has a pretty rad cast. The notables include Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson and Sylvester Stallone, not to mention the non-super famous people, who probably showed up for more than a day.
  • Clank, the little robot dude, routinely cracked me up with his incredibly long handshake. 
  • Hell yeah, fellow nerds, Daxter shows up for a second. 
  • It's likely you don't know this, but the games are known for their badass (though cartoony) weaponry. Well, the movie keeps the tradition alive, with some pretty awesome gear.
  • Sorry! I thought you were a trashcan.
  • Even if the whole flick seems a little small time, it still looks pretty cool. The big action scenes are particularly cool.
  • And finally, even if you don't want to see the movie, if you've got a little kid and a PS4, the Ratchet & Clank game is awesome. Even better? The game is based on the movie, which is based on the game. Trust me...that actually makes perfect sense. 
  • Straight up, not a single person I mentioned this movie to, had the slightest idea what I was talking about. Not one.
  • Look, between you and me, this flick has a very heavy direct-to-video vibe. And when it does come to Redbox or Netflix? Even then I'm not saying you should bother...with the movie I saw THEATRICALLY.
  • The Galactic Rangers continually shut down Ratchet and Clank for 'nerding it up'. I'm pretty sure this means thinking things through. And yes, I'm just mad because I didn't nerd it up about seeing this movie on a Friday evening after spending a week with fifty twelve-year-olds.
  • Many of the jokes are pretty cringe-worthy. Like, you can almost hear the actor delivering the lines sighing into their coffee cup. 
  • And finally, ye old post-movie conversation car ride home. This time, the tables were turned. Usually I'm checking with my son, Did you see the part when...? What did you think about the time when...? and so on. But this time? It was his turn. And I had zero answers. (the best thing, though? Dad, when you go to write your thing....I can help you out. I remember all of it.) 
At least for a week anyway, this was Matty's favorite movie. Ever. And while I'm pretty cure Civil War is probably going to erase Ratchet & Clank from my son's cinematic memory, I'm still almost proud of him for actually saying that something was special in the first place. I mean, somewhere along the way, pretty much everybody in my family decided mild contentment was about the only way to ever express what regular people know as excitement, joy and/or pleasure. 

What a terrible thing to pass on to a kid, you know? Always understating elation and excitement? That's no way to live. In fact, that day in the hospital, when Matty came into the world and I saw him for the first time?

Yeah, it was okay.

I guess. 
I mean, if you liked it...


  1. When I saw the poster, I assumed this was something you and your son found on Netflix. No idea this was a theatrical release. I'm glad he liked it at least, I hope you both enjoy Civil War faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more.

    1. Yeah, this sucker was totally in the, for four days.

      Hahaha...I've already seen Civil War and I friggin' loved it. I'm assuming he'll feel the same!

  2. I saw the trailer for this when I went to see Batman v Superman. All I could think was "How many years late is this?" Glad your son loved it. 20 years from now he might get nostalgic and throw it on just to see if it holds up. When it's over he'll say "WTF was I thinking?"

    1. Exactly. It's almost as bad as the whole Angry Birds nonsense their ramming down our throats this summer. Though...maybe even a tad worse?

      He will probably cringe whenever he revisits it, but honestly, it's probably not as bad as it looks. It's just really, really mediocre. But in a timeless way...if that makes sense.

      Hahahaha at my future son saying WTF. He still gasps when I say the word 'stupid'. Like, DAD! You just said a bad word!