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This Uncharted Movie Review is not a knock-out attempt at a video game adaptation, but it does fall short of perfection. It is light on its feet, doesn’t insult the franchise’s fan base, and rides on Nathan Drake’s goodwill, but it’s hardly a daring work of art. Despite being based on a video game, Uncharted feels like a video game adaptation that’s made with bare-minimum effort to tell a story. As Roger McGough famously said, “Video games are not art, they’re just entertainment.”
While the video game adaptation of Uncharted is gorgeous and visually stunning, it falls short of being a compelling and engaging film. The film does take some liberties, though. Mark Wahlberg‘s Sully is cold, self-interested, and lacking in likability. But once he meets the younger Nathan Drake, the two share an unlikely bond. While their relationship is not fleshed out much, viewers will probably find themselves rooting for Nate anyway.
A rival expedition led by Santiago Moncada also sets out to explore the ocean. Moncada is a one-dimensional character who feels entitled to fortune because his family funded Magellan’s original expedition. The film’s characterizations are shallow and require viewers to suspend their disbelief. It also has an overly complex plot, but this is hardly a fault. The movie is still a solid diversion, but not a great one.
Despite its high-concept, Nathan Drake in Uncharted falls flat and lacks the thrill and excitement of the video game. The actors playing Drake and his team are good, but the movie doesn’t work well enough to keep viewers interested. Mark Wahlberg is disappointing as Drake’s father and Sophia Ali as his son. In addition, the movie reeks of lackluster character development. While Tom Holland is an appealing Nathan, he’s often a bit flat and unremarkable.
While the video game adaptation is visually stunning, Uncharted is also overlong and morally dubious. Still, it’s an admirable attempt at creating an adventure set piece. Tom Holland’s performance as Nathan Drake is an excellent choice for this role. While he’s in mortal danger, the actor keeps a good vibe. Unlike Wahlberg’s blank-faced derring-do, Holland’s calm and easygoing personality makes it easy for the audience to root for the hero.
Despite her brief appearance in the first two Uncharted movies, Chloe Frazer has a distinctly modern take on the character. Her empowering and optimistic attitude makes her a welcome addition to the Uncharted universe, even if her role is relatively small in comparison to that of her co-star Drake. Among the other characters she appears to have a longstanding friendship with is Nadine Ross, who is her lover from the first two films.
Sophia Ali portrays the younger version of Chloe, a former associate of Sully’s. Her role is largely one-note, but she does reinforce the film’s themes of betrayal among thieves. While her character is appealing and occasionally even a dangerous one, Chloe does serve as a counterpoint to Sully, and in doing so, she manages to captivate the audience’s affections.