“Ratchet & Clank” (Gramercy)

Ratchet, center, voiced by James Arnold Taylor, appears in the animated movie "Ratchet & Clank." The Catholic News Service classification is A-I -- general patronage. (CNS/Gramercy Pictures)

By Catholic News Service

Busy 3-D visuals fail to mask the flat tone and by-the-numbers storytelling of this animated sci-fi adventure from co-directors Kevin Munroe and Jericca Cleland.

After failing in his effort to join a team of glamorous intergalactic peacekeepers (their leader voiced by Jim Ward), a catlike mechanic (voice of James Arnold Taylor) teams with a robot (voice of David Kaye) to take on a planet-destroying villain (voice of Paul Giamatti) that the more seasoned warriors have so far been unable to defeat.

As scripted by Munroe, in collaboration with T.J. Fixman and Gerry Swallow, this video-game adaptation sends respectable messages about plucky underdogs doing the right thing. But the vehicle used to convey this theme bears more resemblance to a tired jalopy than a gleaming spaceship. Some cartoon violence, including explosions, occasional peril.

The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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