Uncharted features big budget thrills and Hollywood star power aplenty, in a fun but otherwise shallow action-adventure.
Based upon the wildly successful Playstation game franchise of the same name, Uncharted is the latest game to live-action film adaptation which historically has produced mixed-at-best results. Easily described as a mix between Tomb Raider and National Treasure, Uncharted follows treasure hunters Nate (Tom Hollland) and Sully (Mark Wahlberg) as they chase billions of lost gold legendarily hidden by explorer Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago.
There’s a wealth of content from the gaming series to draw from. Exotic locations, menacing villains, wild legends and over-the-top action scenes, so I was a little surprised at how much of the film was spent setting up the back story in a generic metropolis setting. This film certainly tries to establish itself as the foundation of a new franchise, but does the audience really care that much about motive when there’s treasure to be found in some mystical foreign land?!?
Tom Holland flexes his usual charm as the films lead character Nathan Drake. Mark Whalberg turn as gruff pilot Sully is effective, although a somewhat peculiar casting choice given the source material. Much of the witty banter between these two characters unfortunately falls flat, rather than complimenting the situation or building upon their relationship. Nate and Sully’s efforts to recover the gold is challenged at every turn by wealthy heir Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas in a largely under-utilised role) and his henchwoman Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) setting up a race across the globe as they uncover new clues as to the golds potential whereabouts.
The film certainly picks up the pace in the second and third acts. The action sequences and stunts are great, a good mix of jaw dropping scenarios paired with bone-crunching impacts.
Director Ruben Fleischer (“Venom” ) has delivered a fun film that ticks the action/ adventure box, but does not capture the true potential of the Uncharted story.
As a long time fan of this franchise, I hope this film does serve as an introduction to a much larger Uncharted world, leading to bigger and better things.
Movie Review By Samuel Phillips