UNCHARTED: An Adventure That Carried Very Little Worth In The Treasure It Offers

Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Ruben Fleischer

Stars: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas

As someone with no attachment to the video game franchise, I figured that would give me more room to forgive any film adaptation choices. After all, as a fan of adventure films that head into beautiful tropical destinations to find treasure- this is a genre that is very hard to fumble with. So heading out of Uncharted, I was left wondering just why it left me feeling so underwhelmed- so let’s explore that now.

Street-smart Nathan Drake, is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter, Victor "Sully" Sullivan, to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan, and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada.

The script is extremely straightforward, and it’s easy enough for us non game fans to understand Nathan Drake and his background. We get a nice flashback to Drake and his brother, and then some perfect sprinkles of character building around the impacts that his brother has had from afar on his life. Also, there was some really cool stuff in the script, including the use of two identical keys to achieve a part of the journey. Stuff like that gave National Treasure vibes, something that I absolutely enjoyed.

Unfortunately the film falls into some serious repetition rather quickly. The use of unexpected double crossings, and turning on another- something that works the first time or so. Eventually becomes overplayed, and something so expected that- there’s nothing entertaining or interesting about it. Some massive leaps in logic take place to push the story forward, including the ending sequence featuring Drake and Sully trying to evade the bad guys. Logically there is no reason for the bad guys to go after the duo, and yet they do- all to set up an epic scene, but the lack of logic around setting it up frustrates me.

The action sequences are mostly fine. There’s some heavily edited scenes that makes following the action hard. Sometimes it works out well including the set up sequence during the finale, despite how dumb the leap of logic there is- the end result is massively epic and is one of the rare pieces of gold we find on this first adventure with Drake.

Cast wise, it’s not too bad at all. There really isn’t that much for Antonio Banderas to do which is a pity because the trailers set him as such an intriguing person. Tom Holland is once again a solid star for a franchise, and there’s no doubt that his boy-ish charm is in full display as the nerdy and adventurous Nathan Drake. He has really good scenes with Mark Wahlberg, and you can tell theres some chemistry there. Unfortunately, Wahlberg as Scully just falls flat for me whenever he’s not fully relying on the dialogue with Holland. It felt very in and out with him as if he was giving it his all only half the time he’s on screen. Tati Gabrielle is fine as Braddock, but the character feels very miscast- and out of the element, as if the character should be existing in another film universe, not this one.

In the end, it’s a fine first trip for the Nathan Drake character and the Uncharted film universe. Game fans will have a few moments made for them to cheer out loud, and the adventure fans that love a good treasure hunt will have a couple awesome moments to enjoy with friends. Unfortunately finding the gold within this first film will take time for viewers because it’s few and far between, and scattered all throughout the runtime.


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