It’s lifeless, chock-full of needless CGI, and criminally derivative. While all of this is true for Uncharted, the movie is based on the top-rated game; it does have a delightful performance by Tom Holland as Nate Drake. The movie is shot in glitzy locations such as Alicante, Valencia, Xàbia, and Barcelona, and secret messages are written in invisible ink and postcards. Tom Holland, a man of boundless charm and grit, effortlessly transitions into the role of Nathan Hunt.
Nathan Hunt is a globe-trotting professional treasure hunter who sets out on dangerous journeys worldwide in search of precious artefacts and his long-lost brother.
The film deviates from the franchise and maintains the original tale structure, relying on various threads from the Uncharted games to imagine Nathan as a younger, naive, yet playful rendition of the hero. The postcards are nearly as romantic as the animal-hide-covered ancient explorer’s notebook full of post-it notes and other miscellaneous and gloomy, medieval maps with squiggly lines and images of monsters hiding in the depths.
Wahlberg isn’t as enthusiastic about his part as Holland is. Sully is neither clever nor exciting, and he stands out like a sore thumb in front of Holland, who skillfully uses the extent of his childish charm to make the movie more entertaining. Even though Nathan has an unfocused presence, the film’s de-ageing of him works to some level. However, he is torn between being presented as an overgrown child and an underdog hero for most of the film.
Nate and his brother Sam, progenitors of the first Indiana Jones, Sir Francis Drake, dream of obtaining Magellan’s vast treasure legend has it that he did not traverse the world for fun, but rather for riches. The wealthy and powerful Moncada family paid for his trip. Magellan died on the way to the end of his trip. The treasure was discovered, and his captain and 17 crew members accomplished the circumnavigation.
Sam abandons Nate, a ten-year-old boy, with the promise of returning him. Nate is a bartender doing small-time heists 15 years later when he is approached by veteran treasure hunter Sully (Mark Wahlberg), who claims to have worked with Sam and needs Nate’s assistance in recovering Magellan’s loot. There’s an auction (and an opportunity for everyone to dress up), a terrifying mercenary named Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) and a henchman with a heavy Scottish accent, and the last of the Moncada clan (Antonio Banderas) doing various terrible things. Nathan’s loneliness as a result of his turbulent history, as well as his innate desire to belong, is the subject of the film adaptation.
Like any director, Fleischer takes it upon himself to build Uncharted as a buddy adventure drama because Holland and Wahlberg share the same frame. It’s not that the two actors don’t have chemistry; it’s just that watching them act out humorous situations with their banter isn’t entertaining. There’s also the fact that Uncharted leans too heavily on their friendship when it doesn’t appear to make it a compelling case for why it should be the film’s key point.
The treasure hunters travel to Spain in search of a chapel and a vault, as well as a pair of golden crosses that are actual keys and a map with X marking the location. Like any good tomb raiders in popular culture, Nate and Sully track down Chloe (Sophia Ali) in Spain and solve 500-year-old mysteries while on the run.
The opening sequence, in which passengers, crates, and a beautiful automobile fall out of a plane, and the mid-air ramming of 500-year-old ships, are both appropriately jaw-dropping stunts. CGI, on the other hand, has rendered all actions dull.
The obligatory mid- and end-credit sequences hint at possible sequels where Nate and Sully may cross paths with the Red Notice crew. Uncharted is a pleasant way to spend time at the cinema; however, one would anticipate more innovation from filmmaker Ruben Fleischer, who directed the enjoyable Zombieland.
Because of the film’s incoherence, it feels like a squandered opportunity. For example, Fleischer’s direction is general enough to be nameless. Uncharted’s blandness isn’t helped because the language isn’t particularly insightful, and the staging follows convention.
Despite this, the filmmakers show faith in their material by ending Uncharted on a cliffhanger that begs for a sequel. That may be the only silver lining at this point; perhaps the second time around, extracting some flavour and fun from a wild journey will be easier.
The film, directed by Ruben Fleischer and based on a PlayStation game, premiered on over four thousand screens. Uncharted was a bit of a wild card due to the unpredictability of pandemic-era audiences, and the terrible reviews from critics had some heading into the weekend with cautious optimism.
Uncharted will need to raise a lot of money to cover its $120 million production budget, which overseas earnings will most likely cover. Uncharted has already topped $100 million in worldwide sales, and unlike Spider-Man, it will be released in China on March 14th.