When I heard about an Uncharted movie being, my first though was “This is a no-brainer.” Doing a movie based on a video game inspired by action-adventure films is sure to entertain and PlayStation Studios did not disappoint. Uncharted follows a young Nathan Drake on a globetrotting adventure with Victor “Sully” Sullivan in search of lost treasure while fighting off other treasure hunters who are also seeking fortune. Tom Holland does a fine job portraying Nathan Drake, staying true to the character’s mannerisms such as his quick wit, unorthodox fighting style and extensive historical knowledge. Now, there were concerns about Mark Wahlberg as Sully since many fans are more familiar with the older version and his trademark mustache. Honestly, Wahlberg makes a good Sully. Rather than try to emulate the character from the game, he brings his own version to the screen, and it works well against Holland’s Nathan Drake. The banter between the two makes for light humor which the games are known for.
Being based on an action game, Uncharted is full of great action cinematography and elements reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s beloved series. The movie taps into Drake’s Deception and the first game albeit being set before the latter. The best example of this is the cargo plane scene where Nathan deals with enemies while hanging from large crates tethered together with ropes and cargo netting. The movie’s depiction of this along with the camera work is a near match for the same scene in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Puzzle solving is another aspect that the Uncharted games are known for, and this is present in the movie adaptation as well. However, this is common for adventure films such as Indiana Jones and National Treasure which inspired the Uncharted series though it is still nice to see the tradition continue.
Uncharted transitions well on the big screen given that the games themselves are inspired by action-adventure films. For comparison’s sake, this is a step up from the 2016 Tomb Raider which focuses on Lara Croft’s downtime and had minimal action sequences whereas Uncharted seemingly jumped into it right from the gate. Say what you will about the acting, I like Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg as Nathan and Sully. They play off each well and the banter between them is reminiscent of the games. It’s not exactly on par with the games, but that nod is still there. The one thing that must be kept in mind that this is an origin tale of sorts and their dynamitic relationship that we are familiar with in the games is not be shown here because the relationship is in its fledgling stages in the film and needs time to grow. We will see this happening with future films. While I enjoy the game, I approached Uncharted as a fan of action-adventure films and that’s what this is – a good action-adventure film. As far as video game films go, this falls under the “good enough but not terrible” category. In short, Uncharted is good action-adventure based on a video game inspired by action-adventure films. Also, having a very special guest making an unexpected cameo is a nice touch, especially for the Uncharted fans.
Uncharted gets 3.5 out of 5.