Review: Uncharted Movie
Uncharted is not a bad movie, but it’s not a great one either. While it’s respectable for the video-game movie genre, it still has ways to go to make an impact.
I’ve never played Uncharted, so this will be a “secular” review of the movie from the popular PlayStation series. This is also the first movie attempt for PlayStation Studios.
Uncharted stars Tom Holland as the main character, Nathan Drake, and Mark Wahlberg as his duplicitous partner, Victor Sullivan. The story is supposedly an origin of the Uncharted games, and it starts off with Drake hanging on to some crates and fighting off villains, Spider-Man style. I guess you can’t really differentiate from one character to the next with the same actor. As soon as he boards the plane, a red car knocks him off course. We then flash back 15 years earlier with a pre-teen Nathan and his older teen brother Sam.
Sam and Nathan are looking for an artifact from Spain, in which they believed to be from Ferdinand Magellan. Sam is really precocious with history that could rival Indiana Jones. They were both trying to rob an important map, but were caught by the authorities. When given a chance to say to say goodbye to each other unsupervised, Sam escapes, leaving Nathan with the clues.
In the present day, Nathan is a bartender, who charms a young female patron with his knowledge of drinks. When he stealthily steals a bracelet from her, Victor Sullivan (Wahlberg) enters the establishment. He +tries to convince Nathan to join him to find the artifact he and his brother were looking for. After Sullivan stealthily recovers the bracelet from Drake, Drake reluctantly joins Sullivan to find the artifact.
The movie also stars Antonio Banderas as a wealthy treasure hunter, who has plans of expanding his family empire. Unfortunately, he is stymied by his emotionally distant patriarch (Manuel de Blas). Banderas does his best to portray an effective villain but is wasted.
The movie has a lot of twist and turns regarding the relationship between Drake and Sullivan. They don’t trust each other, and the movie shows as well as explains it. Also involved is Chloe Frazer, a previous contact of Sullivan who also has trust issues with Drake, and especially with Sullivan. The elements of trust in the film are played around throughout to the point where I think it’s a little too clever to be believed. But since I’m not a treasure hunter nor have I ever played Uncharted, what do I know? I also find it funny that a British actor such as Tom Holland would still play an American accent (though not for the first time, obviously), while an American actress like Sophia Ail has a British one in the film (though very convincingly).
Tom Holland does his best as Nathan Drake and there were moments in which he wasn’t “Spider-Man like”, such as when he tries make Sullivan leave the drinking establishment in the beginning of the film; he did display some attitude that you wouldn’t expect out of Spider-Man. But he also did some fighting moves and lectures Sullivan on trust that would make Holland indistinguishable from his famous Marvel character. Drake is extremely knowledgeable about history that would make his brother proud and rival that of an archeology professor.
Mark Wahlberg as Sullivan is more of a comic relief, but not in the traditional goofy sense. Like Drake, he is knowledgable, but more experienced; Drake, even with all of his knowledge, can be a real rookie in some key moments. Sometimes Sullivan will say along the lines of “I will do this on my own and make sure you don’t double-cross me”, but unexpectedly trusts Drake and Frazer anyway.
Another strong supporting character is Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), who is Santiago’s bodyguard and scout, but plays a significant role later in the movie. As to what her motives are from that point is anyone’s guess.
There are also two end-credit scenes in the movie, so you may want to stay for those.
Uncharted is not a bad movie, but it’s not a great one either. I know many fans will understand some of the references as well as the history of the characters. But for the “secular” audience, such as myself, I think many will see this because of Tom Holland and what he can do outside of Spider-Man; so far, it’s not much of a difference. While it’s respectable for the video-game movie genre, it still has ways to go to make an impact.