(Here is yet another working script for the synopsis of the 2016 animated feature Ratchet & Clank, as heard on The Spin-Off Doctors. As always, it remains just as full of typos and grammatical errors as when I vomited it on to the page. Enjoy!)
Following a full minute of animated company logos, we open above the Planet Tenemule, where Chairman Drek (leader of the race known as Blarg) addresses his people and reveals that they’re about to do some highly illegal shit, blowing up a planet with a big weapon. We also meet Victor, Drek’s enforcer, when he eats one of the employees phones. As the weapon fires and destroys Tenemule, we get a title logo.
On Planet Veldin, the young Lombax Ratchet is watching a robot exercise program. During the commercial break, there’s an ad for the news, which mentions the destruction of Tenemule and notes it’s the fourth such planet to be destroyed, and that the government is responding by increasing the ranks of the Galactic Rangers by 25% (which is to say, they’re adding a person). This segues into an ad that combines the spirit of “We Want You” and the cynicism of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Ice to announce a recruitment tour.
Chairman Drek shows Victor the next planet he intends to destroy. Victor warns that the planet is well protected by the Galactic Rangers, but Drek has a plan to strike first. This both pleases and concerns Victor, who points out that they have no soldiers with which to fight. Drek’s got it covered, and says the Galactic Rangers will be destroyed in two days time.
Back on Veldin, Ratchet is scolded by Grimroth (the owner of the repair shop), for always having his head in the clouds and suggests that he should dream smaller so he’s not disappointed. But Ratchet manages to convince the father figure to give him an hour away from work to attend the Galactic Rangers tryouts, promising that he’ll return to help scrub some important thing that needs to be done seasonally.
Elsewhere, Chairman Drek and Victor meet with Dr. Nefarious, who has been building war bots out of Raritanium to kill the Galactic Rangers. A power outage occurs and has to be repaired. As the system comes back online, the factory produces a tiny and harmless war bot. Recognized as a defect, the little bot flees and steals a spaceship while being pursued by Victor, who damages the ship as the robot escapes.
The war bot attack commences. On the way to Aleero, Ratchet’s character exposition is delivered, about how he was found on the planet as a baby. Meanwhile, the Galactic Rangers are kind of getting their asses kicked. And there’s a Wilhelm scream joke that was completely unnecessary. Ratchet and Clank arrive and attempt to attack the bad guy ship, but hilariously destroy a statue of Captain Qwark instead. As they continue to fly out of control (in part due to Clank’s poor piloting skills), it comes out that Ratchet was dishonest about his relationship with the Galactic Rangers.
As the writers try to will “I can fix this” into being a catch phrase for Ratchet, Clank reconfigures the giant magnet to specifically attract raritanium (the alloy the robots are made of, remember) and activates it. As before in the scene with the junk, the robots are pulled in the wake of the ship. Recalling how that scene ended, the magnet is switched off as they fly toward the enemy assault ship, weaponizing the war bots and destroying it. Ratchet is hailed as a hero, and Qwark tries to take the limelight. But this backfires, as he’s asked if Ratchet and Clank will be joining the Galactic Rangers and can come up with no good reason why not.
At Galactic Ranger HQ, Ratchet and Clank get their training. Clank is sent to work in intel where we meet Elaris, the fourth Ranger who provides operational support. Ratchet gets fancy armor that allows him to select weapons by thought from an armory. We’re shown many of the fun guns you’ll shoot in the hit 2016 remake of Ratchet & Clank, now available for PlayStation 4 consoles.
As Ratchet and Clank stroll through Aleero and Ratchet sees a billboard with his face on it. Clank points out that his collected wisdom suggests that fame is ultimately unsatisfying because foreshadowing cannot be subtle. Ratchet is, predictably, too caught up in his own celebrity to think about it as he signs photos. Qwark suddenly steps in and pulls Ratchet away from an adoring public, jealous of the attention he’s getting.
Qwark is led into Drek’s office where, after being disarmed by Victor, Drek points out how poorly treated by the public Qwark has been with the arrival of Ratchet. Drek offers to fix this by promising to execute a PR campaign that justifies Qwark betraying the Galactic Rangers as being necessary to save the Federation or whatever. Drek further promises to evacuate the planet before it’s destroyed.
Victor and Drek flee from Drek Industries in escape ships, leaving Drek’s robot assistant Zed to be captured by the Galactic Rangers, who immediately cracks under interrogation and tells them Drek is about to destroy the populated planet of Novalis. Later, in the brig, Zed tries to get Qwark to talk to him further, recalling that time Qwark signed a contract with Drek, which Qwark is trying to keep secret. But we know, don’t we viewers?
Qwark disables the weapons systems on the Galactic Ranger’s fleet as they travel to Novalis, which is (true to Drek’s word) being evacuated. He suggests that the plan will be to talk to Drek, which confuses Cora and Brax because that’s not their SOP. Elania has another plan, but it’s never revealed because Qwark mutes her partway through explaining. As he moves in toward the Deplanetizer without warning the others, he’s contacted by Drek to confirm the weapons are disabled and, once off the line, Drek orders the Blarg to attack. Vincent scans the Ranger command ship, discovers Clank on board, and decides to deal with him.
Ratchet breaks off from the rest of the Rangers (who are in retreat), unwilling to abandon Qwark, who is in the kind of danger you only find when getting a massage and eating bon-bons. His ship blowing up, he ejects and floats to the Deplanetizer.
Elania does a sneak attack on Vincent and is thrown into some pipes, which spill water. This seems to frighten Victor, inspiring Clank to get a gun that creates a thunder cloud, producing rain, which immediately rusts Victor.
As Ratchet is led through the halls of the Deplanetizer, he sees Qwark chatting jovially with a Blarg, and Ratchet realises that some shit has gone down. Drek then has Ratchet put into a shuttle and orders the destruction of Novalis, which happens while everyone watches (which we know because we’re shown everyone watching it; gotta pad that running time and remind us who’s alive, after all). Drek gets the part of this planet that he wants, bad guys are happy and good guys are sad.
Back on Veldin, a dejected Ratchet gets rid of all his Galactic Rangers tat. Grimroth comes and tries to make him feel better, tells him the Galactic Rangers keep calling, and gives him a nugget of wisdom about how being a hero isn’t about doing big things, but right things.
Drek holds a funeral for Victor and then admires his nearly completed planet, New Quartu.
The Rangers gear up for their final stand against the Blarg. Elania has discovered the final planet (Umbria) and realizes that its destruction would cause a chain reaction destroying the entire solar system as well, which seems outside the scope of Drek’s plan. Zed (Drek’s former assistant bot who has, at some point here, switched teams) reveals that this is because the planet was Nefarious’ idea.
Elania lays out a complicated plan to infiltrate the Deplanetizer by having Ratchet pose as Qwark (using fancy technology) and, in a few steps performed by Ratchet and Clank, disable the weapon from within, which is executed just as Nefarious is attempting to leave (causing him to return to deal with the Rangers). Qwark finds Ratchet and they have a confrontation where Ratchet also points out that Qwark is no better than Nefarious. They do gun fightings with all the weird guns and Ratchet swinging around and stuff. Qwark has Ratchet on the ropes with a Tornado gun, but Ratchet appeals to Qwark’s sense of heroism, which brings him around.
Outside the Deplanetizer, Brax uses more of the magnet things to shift the position of the Deplanetizer so that it’s aimed away from the planet. This, oddly, affects the gravity on the Deplanetizer. As Nefarious fires the weapon, he comes to terms with his own insanity. The deplanetizer misses Umbria. Meanwhile, Drek returns to his normal Blarg form just in time to see that the Deplanetizer destroy New Quartu instead.
Ratchet and Clank also part ways, with Ratchet needing to fulfill his promise to fix whatever those things were that Grimroth needed fixing. Qwark writes a book and goes on a promotional tour to repair his image. But, with nowhere else to go, Clank shows up on Veldin and they decide to be buddies forever and ready to defend the galaxy if anyone else decides to destroy a planet. Character credits roll, after which we learn that Dr. Nefarious survived the crash of the deplanetizer on Umbria, but he’s a robot now.