Uncharted

The newest film that is sure to spurn the internet rage has arrived in the theaters this weekend, finally. Uncharted is the next video game adaptation to try and find its success on the big screen.

The reason this will spurn internet rage is because of the love of the video game and the casting of Tom Holland as the lead character Nathan Drake. They made him younger in Uncharted the movie than he was in the video games and there have been cries of “Tom Holland is not Nathan Drake.”

Now, I never played the video game and I would go as far as to say that I had never heard of the character until a YouTube short with Nathan Fillion (everybody’s wish to play Drake, apparently) as Nathan Drake sent the geek world into a tizzy. I did not have any preconceived notions on how Nathan Drake was supposed to be represented and so I did not have to worry whether or not this movie could reach those levels. I also went into the film hearing some mixed reviews, leaning toward the low side, so I was able to adjust my expectations again.

With those things working for me, I actually thought Uncharted was okay.

Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) was a young thief working as a bartender when he was approached by Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) who wanted the kid to come along with him on an adventure to try and find a missing treasure, the same treasure that Nathan’s brother wanted to go in search of when they were younger.

Nathan did not trust Sully but the tie to his brother, who had also worked with Sully, as well as the promise of adventure, pulled Nathan into the act.

Villainous Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) was in pursuit of the treasure as well and he involved some muscle in Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), who had some kind of connection with Sully. Sully was in a deal as well with Chloe (Sophia Ali), despite the fact that none of them trusted each other and were just waiting for the betrayal, unsure who would turn on the other first.

Uncharted’s biggest strength is Tom Holland, who is remarkably charismatic and is as relatable as they come. Again, is he Nathan Drake? I have no idea, but he worked extremely well for me. He brought a fantastic physicality to the role that fit beautifully with the action and he is a strong enough actor to make the emotional beats effective.

Mark Wahlberg is fine, but he is not a standout in the film. He is basically doing what Mark Wahlberg does.

The action of the film was well done. Sure, a lot of it is unlikely and pushes credibility quite a bit, but that did not take me out of the film. There were a few times when I rolled my eyes with certain action beats, but most of it was well done, and it was well structured and shot. I could tell what was happening and it had a decent balance to it. There were only a couple of times when the CGI jumped off the screen. I saw this in an IMAX theater and I do believe that it helped make the action more expressive.

I would say that there is little that is new here. In fact, you can see places in this story/script where they were taking ideas from Indiana Jones movies, The Goonies, National Treasure and plenty of other treasure hunting movies. I was not expecting Uncharted to break new ground heading in so this was another fact that did not affect my viewing.

I found the film a decent time at the theater. I did not love it, but it was enjoyable enough for a viewing and Tom Holland was excellent as the protagonist, no matter how miscast people claim that he was.

3.3 stars

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