Grade: A- … Uncharted is a globe trotting adventure that stays pretty true to the video game franchise delivering thrills and big stunt action.
Back in 2007, video game publisher Naughty Dog released the first Uncharted game in the franchise, “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” for the PlayStation 3. It combined fun tactical combat, breath taking climbing mechanics, and challenging puzzles to fuel a treasure hunt on steroids. Uncharted did in a video game what Indiana Jones tried to accomplish on film. The game was a breakthrough with over the top action sequences that would have cost filmmakers a literal fortune. It was also a technological marvel with the dazzling graphics to fully immerse you in the story.
Fifteen years later, after going through developmental purgatory for what seemed like an eternity, the Uncharted movie has finally arrived and it was well worth the wait!
In the Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, fans of the video game franchise can finally see their hero, Nathan Drake, score a very lucrative treasure on the big screen. The plot of Uncharted is very similar to the video game plots. Sully (Mark Wahlberg) recruits Drake (Tom Holland) for a big score that has historical roots.
Normally, video games movies get written off easily because they are historically bad movies. Fans of a video game franchise often pan the accompanying movies because they never live up to the visions inside of their heads after playing the game. In my opinion, Uncharted bucks the trend. I have played and beaten all of the Uncharted games and this translated to film quite well. You can tell that the movie tries to draw parallels to the game as best as possible while trying to keep you engrossed in the film. For a few examples, the witty banter with Sully and Drake is well done; the action in the movie also closely mirrored what you would see in the game and I also enjoyed the shots of Drake emerging out of the water. Those shots were a nice subtle nod to the first video game where Drake emerges out of the water and continues to dry as the game continues. That was a huge graphical feat for the PlayStation 3. It may sound “ho-hum” now, but back in 2007 many mouths were dropped.
The only real problem I had with Uncharted, and it’s a very tiny gripe, is that I believe that Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg were too young for their respective roles. If you have seen the video game, Nathan Drake and Sully both look older than Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. Needless to say, due to their acting chops, you forget about that fact very quickly and enjoy the ride, but I just couldn’t help but to picture someone like Nathan Fillion (who is older than Tom Holland) as Drake instead. Overall, Holland and Wahlberg have great chemistry on screen and in the end, the casting ultimately worked.
Since Uncharted was filmed all over the world, you will see shots from New York, to Barcelona, to other jungle like locations that just look amazing on a crystal clear Dolby Cinema screen. Gaudí’s “La Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona makes a very impressive cameo appearance. I have been there in person and highly recommend you experience it in person, if possible.
To lock it up in a shiny treasure chest, Uncharted is a fun trip to the movies that is not to be missed. After waiting for many years to see this movie, I can safely say that it is more than worth the “weight” in gold!
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Great to see that The Movie Grader is back!! Always enjoy reading your take on the movies.