More likely to connect with fans of its source material, Uncharted emulates better treasure hunt flicks without taking the concept in any inventive direction
Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Antonio Banderas
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
ollywood may have mastered the art of storytelling in pretty much every genre but making a solid video game adaptation is a skill that still seems to elude the world’s most successful film industry. The last few years have seen a couple of amicable releases – primarily in the shape of the big screen ventures of Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog – but, by and large, video game movies have been mediocre at best and inept at worst. The latest adaptation to join the mediocre camp is Uncharted, the long-delayed action-adventure based on the popular Naughty Dog video game franchise.
The always-charming Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake, a street-smart pickpocket who grew up sharing his now-missing brother Sam’s fascination with the 16th century Magellan expedition. When Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) – a fortune hunter who worked with Sam tracking the fabled treasure hidden by the Magellan crew – shows up and asks the protagonist for his help finding the mythical gold, Nathan agrees to join the quest in the hopes of being reunited with his brother.
But he soon realizes that the mission is even trickier than he imagined. Not only does he not know whom he can trust, but he must also race against corrupt billionaire Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) and mercenary leader Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) who are trying to locate the same treasure as well.
Uncharted plays out like a very middle-of-the-road treasure hunt movie which emulates the likes of Indiana Jones and National Treasure and comes off as an uninventive re-tread. While the action is in Holland’s very capable hands, the plot doesn’t really take the characters to any unexpected grounds or do anything truly memorable with the storyline.
Uncharted is, all in all, too bland to really make a mark. If you were hoping to watch a film that finally proves video game movies can actually be good, then Uncharted isn’t it. Fans of the franchise who already feel a connection with the material are likely to appreciate this project more than the rest of us, and if you go in with low expectations and a strong determination to be entertained, then the film will deliver a fun diversion. Had the action come with some emotional weight and the script been better though, the adventure could have been significantly more enjoyable.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection