Welcome back to the Tribe! In this post we dive into our Uncharted film review! Be careful! There are some spoilers below if you have not seen the film yet!
Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) works in a cozy New York bar, where he periodically robs customers, mainly young and wealthy women. However, since childhood, Drake did not dream of cleaning glasses or making a good Negroni, as he was always attracted to finding ancient treasures and uncovering their mysteries.
Together with his older brother, from a very young age, they dreamed of finding the treasure of Ferdinand Magellan that he left behind during his famous expedition around the world. But their dreams weren’t destined to come true: Nathan and his brother went their separate ways, and ever since that day, Nathan just keeps getting postcards from his brother from different countries.
One day in a bar, Nathan meets with a fit middle-aged man Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who offers a very tempting job – to help in the search for, you guessed it, the Magellan treasure. Drake initially refuses, but Sullivan mentions meeting his brother, and the protagonist changes his mind. Anyway, even in the company of a shady character, treasure hunting is much more inviting than tending the bar.
Video Game To Film
So much has been written, said, or filmed about video game adaptations in recent years. Therefore, I do not see the point of rehashing it all over again. In short: Hollywood filmmakers have been trying to learn how to make movies based on video games for more than 30 years, and not everyone has succeeded, to put it mildly.
But despite the sad statistics, the quality of recent movie adaptations of video games has slowly begun to grow. Neither “Sonic the Hedgehog” nor “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” would not dare to dream of Oscar nomination or universal critical acclaim. But these examples already are quite watchable movies that may spark interest among not only fans of the original video game franchises, but movie fans in general. And while “Uncharted” is full of goofiness and action-movie problems, it deserves to be part of a club of successful video game adaptations.
The history of production is remarkable. “Uncharted” has been in production hell for almost 15 years.
The adaptation was announced way back in 2008. The number of directors that were at the helm of production is incredible! Initially, the action-adventure was supposed to be shot by David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook“). Then, for a limited time, the director’s chair was occupied by: Neil Burger (“Divergent“), Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses“), Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum“), Dan Trachtenberg (“Cloverfield, 10“) and Travis Knight (“Bumblebee“).
And only in 2020, this merry-go-round was stopped by Ruben Fleischer – the director of “Zombieland” and “Venom“. There were also many suitors for the lead role. Ten years ago, Mark Wahlberg was cast as Nathan. Although, as the years passed, he transformed into a more mature role of Victor Sullivan. Nathan Fillion (still a perfect cast in my mind) and Chris Pratt might have played Drake also, but it was no more than a rumor floating around.
The fact that “Uncharted” has been in production for so many years is evident upon viewing.
This fact is the main problem of the movie. If individual episodes are effective or look solid at the very least, and some scenes are a blast, then the transitions between the scenes are hard to justify. The main characters are hopping around the world (cue dramatic eye-rolling) to combine action episodes into a coherent narrative or drive the plot forward.
The funniest and the most revealing moment of stitching the plot together is the episode near the end of the movie when villains realize that they have gone on the wrong trail, only because Drake accidentally swims literally in front of their boat in the other direction.
But if you do not pay much attention to such nonsense, which is a common thing of every big-budget blockbuster, then it is difficult not to get guilty pleasure from this movie.
Action Action … and More Action
You can see that, despite the production hell, many characteristic things of the original video game were transferred to the big screen. There is a lot of parkour, sophisticated Dan Brown – like puzzles scattered across different continents, and spectacular fights, and the cherry on top is the final helicopter chase. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode in the adventure genre that was as impressive and ridiculous at the same time.
Nonetheless, the movie has the bad qualities of video games also. For example, completely faceless and caricature villains that the game was famous for, and excessive love for rock climbing.
But the main complaints from fans of the flick will be towards Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. Neither looks like their video game prototypes. Using the exaggerated value system of die-hard fans of any popular gaming franchise, this is like playing with fire. But I must admit, at the risk of getting angry fan tweets, Holland and Wahlberg did a great job.
Yes, Tom Holland plays another variation of Peter Parker. But, this time with deep knowledge of history instead of web-slinging abilities. Wahlberg (spends almost the entire movie without a mustache) portrays an adventurer with no personal attachments, so you won’t see a charming mentor with the rich life experience that Sally was in a video game.
But it’s not that important. There’s tangible chemistry between the two, which is fueled by a comically written dialogue that actually works. The movie somewhat squanders the opportunity to explore personal relationships – the very basis of all “Uncharted” game series. But, let’s just say, there are hints that a possible sequel might fix this problem.
Overall, I would give this film 3 stars out of 4!
“Uncharted” is a bright, funny, and exciting adventure movie. It is not without its problems, given the decade-long production path. Although, it is a rather successful adaptation. In addition, we have been missing a big adventure on a big screen for some time now. The movie respects the original source, but at the same time, it is a universal movie that might be enjoyed by anyone. But most importantly: “Uncharted” is like any noisy and electrifying blockbuster, which will help us to disconnect from reality and its problems for two hours. And in the context of an ongoing pandemic, and uncertainty about the future, this is already a great victory for all movie fans out there.
Uncharted Review Post
Thanks for reading our Uncharted Review post! Please understand that these are just our opinions! Hopefully you will watch the film to come to your own rating!
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