REVIEW – “Uncharted”

In terms of films that have been in pre-production hell since what feels like forever, Uncharted is definitely at the very top of that list. The adaptation of the hit video game series has gone through different periods of development, stars, talent behind the cameras… but now Uncharted has finally arrived starring Tom Holland in the leading role as Nathan Drake. It’s undeniable that Holland is a bit younger than what fans of the game expected when they imagined an adaptation of the series brought to life.. but from the moment the film opens, Holland does a solid job at solidifying himself as a rock-solid Nathan Drake in terms of both the smooth, suave, wise-cracking nature of the character but also nailing the stunts and action sequences perfectly.

Uncharted is far from a perfect movie, and it’s even far from a perfect adaptation of the game – as it neither directly adapts any of the games head-on, but instead tells a prequel story about how Nate and Sully (Mark Wahlberg) met each other and their first true mission together. When the first Uncharted game opens, it’s clear that Nate and Sully have been partners for years now and know each other so incredibly well that there’s a deep, loving trust between the two of them that often feels like a father/son dynamic. So in that respect, it’s fun to see Nate and Sully get to know each other and not necessarily trust each other on their first go-around. I was a bit skeptical when Mark Wahlberg was cast in the role, and while I still can imagine several different actors I’d prefer to see don the iconic mustache, he undeniably has really solid chemistry with Holland – and in an Uncharted movie that’s half the battle.

As I previously mentioned, this is a far from perfect adaptation of the games as it takes some liberties with previously-established bits of lore and cannon that might irk some fans of the games. However, I thought it was all pretty appropriately done and felt in-service to telling the Uncharted story to modern audiences who haven’t played the games. Even just as an adventure film, it feels genuinely refreshing at points to see a globe-trotting treasure hunt movie that has a focus on scale and set-pieces. There are some moments towards the end that feel like they rely a bit too heavily on VFX where the first half has a lot of genuine stunt work, but for the most part I was delighted by the action here and found it pretty impressively done.

It’s far from a perfect film, but as far as a pre-summer blockbuster goes and an adaptation of these characters, I think it’s a legitimately solid and fun Uncharted movie that gets a lot of mileage out of its impressive set-pieces and chemistry between its leading actors.


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