UNCHARTED – Review By Gadi Elkon

After multiple incarnations and directors attached we finally get UNCHARTED.  Does it live up to expectations?  Here is my review to the film and hopefully an answer to that question.

Street-smart Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs. If Nate and Sully can decipher the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure and perhaps even Nate’s long-lost brother…but only if they can learn to work together. 

Is it the games or correctly placed in the games’ world?  Yes, and a BIG NO.  Yes, there are some things that are fully captured from the games’ plot, play and style.  But fans of the series of games will find a ton of holes from the age of characters to plot changes and overall connectivity to the story.  This is a major issue for most all video game adapted projects and yet is this film still good or not?

Acting wise Tom Holland delivers a masterfully physical and witty performance that connects to the humor in the game.  His age is the issue but if you think of this film as a slightly off precursor to the game universe than Holland seems like the perfect fit.  His youthful demeanor matches the wild nature of Nathan Drake and his kid like enthusiasm.  Holland carrying the franchise seems rather well done.  Poor Mark Wahlberg had the age and athletic chops to pull this off back in the early days of the project, but he is now straddled with being Sully.  And if there is a major error it might be Wahlberg’s viability as the Sully we know and love.  The chemistry between Marky and Holland seems legit but I kept thinking of a Fassbender or Joel Edgerton being much better options.  The rest of the cast actually comes through rather nicely.  Sophia Ali as Chloe really is my favorite performance from the film.

Adventure wise UNCHARTED blows most other video game adaptations out of the water (figuratively and literally).  The action scenes are done rather amazingly from the opening of the film to the harrowing climatic flying boat sequence.  It is also refreshing to see the clue finding elements that made the game so much fun.  I will say the level of ease of finding the way to this treasure does come across slightly annoying.  These treasure films all do seem a bit overwhelmingly crazy to be realistic.  But I doubt you’re going to the IMAX theater to see reality on screen when watching UNCHARTED.  So yeah, ENJOY the entertaining action of the film, because Ruben and his technical team pull it off.

I’ll close by saying Uncharted is much better than I thought it would be.  If you haven’t played the games I think you will actually rather enjoy this film.  For you gamers out there, hey at least they finally made the film!  IMAX is the way to go.

UNCHARTED

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

Written by:  Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway on screenplay and of screen story by Rafe Judkins, Jon Hanley Rosenberg and Mark D. Walker

Rated: PG-13

Selig Rating 3.5 Stars

Running Time: 1h 56min

Action   Adventure

Release: Exclusively in Theaters on February 18th, 2022.

Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Tiernan Jones

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

 

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