Uncharted (2022)

uncharted poster 2022 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visual: 7/10

Keeps the action going

Kind of lifeless

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Uncharted

Studio:  Columbia Pictures/Atlas Entertainment/Arad Productions/PlayStation Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  February 8, 2022 (Premiere)/February 11, 2022 (UK)/February 18, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

uncharted nathan drake sully tom holland mark walhberg

Let’s spend the whole movie dancing around the “Can I trust you?” question leading to the inevitable answer…

Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is chasing a dream.  He grew up idolizing his brother who was forced to abandon him as a child, but Nathan also has resorted to “unsavory” means to maintain his lifestyle as a thief.  When he is contacted by Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) who claims to know his brother, he learns Sully is after Magellan’s legendary gold.  Unfortunately, Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) and his hired treasure-hunting mercenary Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) are also after the gold.  Nate finds himself in an uneasy alliance with Sully and his associate Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali)…is there honor among thieves?

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Uncharted is an action-adventure film.  The movie is an adaptation of the Sony video game series Uncharted which began with Uncharted:  Drake’s Fortune in 2007 for the PlayStation 3.  The movie faced massive delays and due to COVID-19, the premiere was pushed from 2020 to 2022.  It was met with average reviews but a positive box office.

I played the first Uncharted, but I didn’t finish the first Uncharted.  I therefor don’t have a nostalgia factor, but I also don’t have much expectations of how I want to see the game adapted.  Watching Uncharted did make me want to play the video game…but it made me want to play the game rather than watching the movie.

uncharted nathan drake plane fight

I’m no physicist…but I’m not sure that physics works this way when you are being dragged at hundreds of miles per hour behind a jet

There are far worse action movies than Uncharted, but it feels like Uncharted lacks any heart or emotion.  The movie plays with the idea that you can’t trust thieves as all of the core characters betray each other one-by-one…but as you know from movies like this, the good guys will make the right choices in the end.  It does keep the movie moving, but the film also decided to take the strange choice of taking a middle of the movie action sequence and put it at the start for a big opening…but instead it took a lot of the suspense and energy out of the sequence (and movie in general).

Even from my short playing of Uncharted, it felt that Tom Holland was miscast as a younger Drake.  Holland’s turn as Spider-Man also taints the role because anytime Drake quips, it just feels like Spider-Man…and snaps you out of the story.  Mark Wahlberg had been considered for the lead in earlier attempts to make the film, but he also wouldn’t have been great as he brings his Mark Wahlberg “is he acting or just playing himself?” style of performance to the role.  Antonio Banderas is wasted as the quasi-lead villain, but I do like Tati Gabrielle’s more sinister mercenary treasure hunter.  Sophia Ali is pretty flat as Holland’s love/hate relationship which feels blasé instead of coy.  Nolan North who voiced Nathan Drake in the games cameos as a guest on the beach.

uncharted flying pirate ships

Video game movies are great! I love this level of Super Mario Bros….I wonder which Koopa Kid Nathan Drake is fighting?

The visuals for the movie definitely have a video game feel but that isn’t necessarily good.  The movie doesn’t feel like the effects have much substance and the characters defy gravity a bit too much to be taken seriously.  I do like the swinging boats sequence even if it is ridiculous because it reminds me of Super Mario and the flying pirate ships…which wasn’t the intention (also I think that five hundred year old ships that are exposed to the elements of the South Pacific through a hole in the jungle floor wouldn’t look that good).

Uncharted was goofy but not enough fun injected in the goofiness.  It was ridiculous, but the movie feels like it could have been a fun rollercoaster ride movie if it just broke a little more from the video game (which in turn would have upset fans more).  The relative success of the film means that Drake could ride again.  I’m not opposed to it, but I am wary…I’m not sure I do trust thieves.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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