Applying chaos theory: bringing Ratchet and Clank to a new generation… of 4 year olds

I’ve never seen a trailer that brought me from excitement to resigned loathing so quickly.

The first Ratchet and Clank game came out in 2002, and it remains as one of Sony’s gaming tentpoles. The third installment, Up Your Arsenal, is considered one of the best games ever made for the Playstation 2. The majority of these games are rated Teen — or it’s mouthful replacement rating, Everyone 10 and Up — which would place the initial generation that fell in love with these games in their mid-late 20s at the youngest.

Now that it’s becoming a movie, instead of making a movie for the people who already love the franchise, Universal seems to have scrubbed it clean of anything that makes Ratchet and Clank Ratchet and Clank and replaced it with the most generic children’s movie imaginable. This trailer seems to be actively shunning a willing showing from the built-in fanbase to instead market to the I-can’t-say-no-to-my-kids crowd.

The games were identifiable not only for the goofy animation and tone, but also the significant edge to their plot. It looks like that edge is completely gone, in favor of an entirely new plot. Basically none of what’s in this trailer is accurate to the first Ratchet and Clank game, but most telling is the appearance of Captain Quark (Jim Ward) as an actual if ethically challenged superhero instead of a sellout and television personality.

The genericism of this trailer is staggering. The narrator winks at the audience a few times in the first 30-45 seconds, but it soon gives way to an upbeat montage finished off by the dreaded “kick… some…. [can’t say ass].” If you hate yourself, check out this collection of completely indistinguishable trailers from animated movies this year.

Ratchet and Clank is scheduled to hit theaters April 29 of next year.

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