‘Uncharted’ Movie Review: Over-the-Top But Fun

Uncharted Movie

It only took 12 years and 7 directors, but at last, Uncharted is releasing in the theaters! Was it worth the wait? Find out my thoughts below.

Uncharted tells the tale of street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs.

If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate’s long-lost brother…but only if they can learn to work together.

Uncharted Movie Trailer

Uncharted Movie Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like

I honestly think I would have been more interested in a documentary about the making of this film… The story behind this film getting made is a bit insane. It was stuck in development hell for roughly twelve years. And new directors and writers kept circling through the project on a never-ending carousel. 

In fact, the film spent so long in development that Mark Walhberg, who was originally attached to the project as the lead (Nathan Drake), transitioned into the role of Sully. And a younger Drake was brought in (Tom Holland) to take over.

The crazy backstory aside, let’s talk about the origins of the project. The film, of course, is based on a hugely successful video game that debuted in 2007 on the PlayStation 3. Selling over 2.5 million copies made it a title that Hollywood producers were eager to bring to the big screen. And 15 years later, it’s finally happened.

Story & Script

It’s easy to see why Hollywood was excited about this story. The plot of the game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, was neatly packaged up as a tale that pulls heavily from Indiana Jones (though doesn’t seem to grasp the magic of Indy).

As an action-adventure film, you get exactly what you expect from the trailer. It’s not going to be a cult classic, but you’ll probably have an entertaining time watching it and find a few laughs between Tom Holland and Mark Walhberg’s back and forth banter. 

There’s ultimately nothing believable about this story. But the film seems to embrace its excessiveness from nearly the start – which somehow, makes it more enjoyable.

Casting

No complaints about the casting here from me. Tom Holland was perfect as Nathan Drake. And he had wonderfully amusing chemistry with Mark Walhberg who also tackles his role of Sully with ease. 

Sophia Taylor Ali and Tati Gabrielle also deliver fine performances.

Effects

Here’s where I have a lot of my issues with the film. There are so many moments in this film where Nathan Drake should have died – or at the very least broken an arm. However, the physical resilience of all the characters is something that just harks back to late-night video game sessions with a cheat code book to your side.

Drake, for one, seems to have countless lives. And the way his body moves in some of these scenes (where he should totally die) is the best example of “uncanny valley” I’ve seen in a hot minute. It doesn’t look full-on fake, but it also doesn’t look real. The effects paired with the fantastical nature of it all are incredibly distracting. It pulls you out of the moment and makes you roll your eyes every few minutes. For me, it’s one of the bigger issues with the film.

Overall Thoughts

Uncharted is certainly over-the-top and falls short of the films it tries to imitate. However, it’s still one wild and entertaining ride that is an enjoyable watch thanks to Tom Holland.

While it’s not the best of video game-inspired movies (is there such a thing?), it’s certainly not the worst. And if you go in expecting it to be excessive – you’ll have your expectations in line for what you’ll be watching.

Uncharted Movie Review:

Grade: C+

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Emma's Geek Girl Blog, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies

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