Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Uncharted is based on the same-named PlayStation video game franchise. We follow Tom Holland’s Nathan Drake as he teams up with Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to discover the Magellan treasure while being pursued by Santiago Moncada.
Story, Writing and Direction:
The easiest way to describe Uncharted’s story is that it felt like a loose adaptation of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, with elements from other games thrown in for good measure. You have Nate and Sully searching for a treasure while being pursued by a wealthy man with his own private army. Not only in terms of the plot, but there were a number of references to Uncharted 4 that I found quite amusing, and I’m actually glad the movie wears its influences on its sleeves.
The story of the film is surprisingly good. It’s not groundbreaking in any way; in fact, it’s your typical treasure hunt scenario. But it does so in such a way that I was kept entertained for the most of the movie. When you add in the fact that there are a tonne of video game references, it’s just a great fun.
The franchise has its strengths but that’s the impression one could get from this film for a multitude of reasons, including, but not limited to, its apparent aversion to developing female characters beyond being lusty prizes for its male stars. Uncharted’s greatest sin, on the other hand, is the certainty with which it promises further sequels – instalments that the film’s ending neither deserves nor warrants.
In terms of performances, Tom bravely carries the task of bearing the extravagant action sequences that make up three quarters of the film after providing his career-best act yet; to be noted, he is only 25 years old. Mark, on the other hand, is relegated to second place, and Wahlberg appears to be wishing he wasn’t in the Uncharted universe. Antonio’s one-dimensional villain is nothing more than filler, with an awful Batman-esque baritone and caricaturish mannerisms.
Fleischer, who directed Zombieland, Gangster Squad, and the first Venom film, gives the franchise his own tone without losing its core. Keep in mind that this is just popcorn entertainment, so don’t anticipate any gravitas or logic. Simply watch folks deceive one other in a heist with a series of incredible stunts. We exclaim, “Bring on the sequel!”