Based on the popular computer game series of the same name, Uncharted is a big budget action-adventure movie from director Rubin Fleischer. The film stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and Antonio Banderas, and follows the story of treasure hunter, Nathan Drake, and his quest to locate the lost gold of the Magellan expedition.
In the movie, Nathan is working as a bartender (and thief) when he is approached by fortune hunter, Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan. Sully explains that he has been working with Nathan’s brother, Sam, to uncover the location of the Magellan treasure, but Sam has disappeared.
Keen to find his missing sibling, Nathan ditches his job and agrees to work with Sully to locate Sam and uncover the treasure. But, as is often the case with these things, Nathan and Sully are not the only ones with their eye on the prize, and soon the pair find themselves up against a few foes.
Can Nathan and Sully beat the bad guys and find Sam and the gold? Or is it game over for the hunters?
The answers to the above questions and more can be found at the cinema, because if you want to watch Uncharted (for the time being anyway), the movie is exclusive to the big screen. The film is currently playing in UK cinemas, and will arrive in the US on Friday 18th February.
Of course, the real question is: Should you go and see Uncharted? And will watching this movie change your life in any way?
Well, while Uncharted won’t blow your mind, nor will it prove to be your favourite movie of the year, there’s a good chance you might enjoy it. Uncharted is not amazing, but it’s not bad either and if you simply want to watch a bit of well-worn action and adventure then this film certainly has it in spades.
If dusty tombs, booby traps, and pirate ships flip your switch, then Uncharted has plenty of this to offer. Likewise, if loud explosions and multiple scenes of Tom Holland shirtless tickle your pickle, you can have that too.
The latter certainly seemed to excite the girl sat next to me in the cinema, and she couldn’t stop herself from taking photos of Holland at various points throughout the film. Yes, this was rather annoying, but she seemed to be having a whale of a time, so who was I to get in the way?
But shirtless Holland and pirate ships aside, if you do head to the cinema to see Uncharted, you will need to take the rough with the smooth. This means watching a movie that is fun in places, but appears to have been built around set pieces, rather than a well-crafted script.
I was not privy to the scriptwriting process of this movie, but I can only imagine the stunts were devised first, and the rest of the story was thrown together later. As with many computer game adaptations, watching Uncharted does feel a little bit like playing a game, with the story taking second fiddle to action sequences.
And as with computer games, Uncharted is also loaded with fairly generic villains, who are only included in the story so they can be bumped off. The worst of these villains is the film’s main foe, who I won’t name here – I’m keeping spoilers to a minimum – but let’s just say they feel very disposable and incredibly bland.
Although, in all fairness, there’s nothing particularly exciting about any cast member in this film. Uncharted has clearly been constructed around Holland, to tie in with his current popularity, so you could replace any of the other actors and it really wouldn’t matter.
There is simply no chemistry between anyone in this film. I imagine they all got on rather well during the shoot, but I don’t expect any of them are bosom buddies, and I doubt they are still WhatsApp-ing each other or going out for coffee, now they are not being paid to spend time together.
If Uncharted gets a sequel (which it probably will), and half the cast get replaced, I doubt I’ll notice. I doubt any cast member who gets a call back will notice their missing colleagues either.
Ultimately, Uncharted is watchable and for the right audience (Tom Holland fans, Tom Holland’s family, people who like taking pictures of Tom Holland movies, general well-wishers, etc) it will provide just enough entertainment. There are better treasure hunter movies out there, from National Treasure (2004) and The Goonies (1985), to most of the Indiana Jones films, but Uncharted is OK for what it is.
As an adaptation of a game, Uncharted could have been as bad as last year’s Monster Hunter or as dreadful as some of the dross we’ve all suffered in the past – Double Dragon (1994) I’m looking at you – but it’s not; it’s fine. Just don’t expect to remember much about it when the sequel inevitably rears its head in a couple of years.