REVIEW: Tom Holland-led ‘Uncharted’ movie mixes multiple adventure tropes in adaptation of popular video game series
SALT LAKE CITY — One of the taglines for the new movie Uncharted is “be careful who you trust.” Many fans of the PlayStation video game series on which the movie is based already feel this way, hoping Columbia Pictures and Sony have done the adaptation right.
Just getting Uncharted to screen has been an adventure in and of itself.
The movie has been in development since 2008 and has had multiple scripts from multiple writers, as well as 7 different directors who have come and left the project during the process of getting the film finished.
Fans campaigned for certain actors to play the main role of Nathan Drake before producers and the director Ruben Fleischer eventually settled on Tom Holland
Holland’s Nathan Drake is a street-smart orphan kid who lives in New York City where he tends bar while looking for opportunities to pickpocket wealthy clients who stop in.
He’s eventually recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune amassed by explorer Ferdinand Magellan that was lost 500 years ago.
So, the two jump around the globe, trying to put together all the clues as to the treasure’s location while enlisting the help of the mysterious Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) along the way.
They’re also trying to avoid the people hot on their tail, the deadly Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) and the rich and ruthless Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs to the $5 Billion in gold they believe is at their destination.
THINGS I LIKED
Having not played the video game series myself, I actually enjoyed Uncharted, for the most part. Since I had no preconceptions about the Drake character, I thought Holland & Wahlberg were well-cast for what they were asked to do.
The film begins with a pulse-pounding and disorienting action sequence, and when Fleischer goes for action, he does it pretty well.
This movie also, like most good adventures, manages to keep a sense of humor between–and often during–the action scenes.
In addition to being shot in some gorgeous locales around the world, Uncharted also borrows fun parts of other fan-favorite adventure movies. Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider come immediately to mind as you watch this movie, but there are also elements of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Da Vinci Code, The Mummy, and Mission: Impossible, among others.
Uncharted is rated PG-13 for violence/action and language, though it wasn’t as bad as some other PG-13 films. Depending on your level of content sensitivity, you could bring a 9- or 10-year old without too much concern.
The movie has a 1 hour and 56 minute run time and there are two scenes during the credits, so make sure you don’t leave too early.
The Uncharted movie is NOT based on any single entry in the video game series, but story aspects from three or four of the games have been lifted into its plot.
Also, for fans of the game, there is no Elena Fisher character, at least in this film.
Uncharted was completely ridiculous at times, but I was entertained and had fun watching it. The ending of the movie and the two mid-credits scenes set up a sequel (though depending on how this movie fares at the box office, who knows if we’ll ever get to see any sequels…)
It will be interesting to see if it draws viewers beyond Tom Holland fans and those who played the video games.
For what it’s worth, my 20-year old son also really enjoyed it, to the point he was even on his phone looking up the cost to buy the video game series as we left the theater.
Final Rating: THREE out of FOUR stars
WHERE TO WATCH
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.
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