NOTICE: THIS REVIEW WAS AUTHORED BY A GUEST WRITER, LUIGI PARENTELA. HE CAN BE FOUND ON LINKTREE, AND ALL AUTHOR CREDITS SHOULD GO TO HIM.

After a long and troubled production of almost fifteen years, Uncharted is finally arriving in theatres. Audiences will finally see the events of first meeting between Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). Will the director Ruben Fleischer be able to transport the classic atmosphere of this saga to the screen?

The answer is: well, not really.

Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) in Sony's UNCHARTED.
Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) in Sony’s UNCHARTED.

Expectations

Unfortunately, I can say that expectations have been betrayed, even though we are not in front of an unwatchable film. First of all, the plot of the film, which in the perspective of probably launching a real series focuses on the origins of Nathan Drake, takes a frenzied pace right from the start, building the main character in a fairly botched way. The hero’s growth path is therefore forced and too fast.

The plot does not depart so much from what are the classic stylistic features of the video game saga. A story of pure fantasy, but well packaged within those myths and legends that come close to great explorations. However, the bite is missing. More complex and more introspective motives are missing, especially if placed in a context of growth of the characters. Still, the lines often come out slow and unattractive, both in moments of pathos and in the lightest and most likable moments, which are a distinctive trademark of Uncharted and which however do not explode when transposing the same irreverent comedy on cinema screens.

(L-R): Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) in Sony's UNCHARTED.
(L-R): Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) in Sony’s UNCHARTED.

Overall

Even Tom Holland, riding a wave of global love, can’t save this rip-off about a treasure hunter looking for gold. Holland puts it all in the shoes of a rascal treasure hunter, and it doesn’t work. There are a lot of movies based on a game inspired by movies that are much better than this one.

Uncharted is watchable, but it could have been so much better. It ends up being only a slightly fun adventure that never justifies using this name. The franchise will need to bring out its reserves of charm and swagger to be comparable to Indiana Jones.

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