Uncharted: An Insomniac Review

Dust off your cargo pants… I’m going back a month in time to review the film, Uncharted.

So, after years of development limbo, Sony finally released the official movie adaptation of the Playstation exclusive game, Uncharted.

Since this flick has been in theaters for a while, I will note that there will be a few spoilers.

I can’t say I hated it. The film was entertaining and fun to watch. Although some fans of the game series gave mixed reviews, Uncharted appears to be growing on quite a few gamers. The movie follows Nathan Drake, as played by Tom Holland who is much younger than his game counterpart.

He teams up with Victor Sullivan aka Sully to find the missing gold of explorer Magellan. Despite pulling scenes directly from its source material, my guess was that instead of making a completely new story and plot, they tried to cram 3 of the game plots into an origin story. If you’re unfamiliar with the games, you’ll manage to like it if you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, or National Treasure.

This film, much like the game series stays the course with those types of flicks: good guys discover treasure, bad guys discover treasure, bad guys and good guys go after treasure all while trying to kill each other. Although one must use the term good loosely when describing the duo from the Uncharted games. I mean they do steal stuff and shoot people.

Despite his character being a badass and a tad violent in the game, in the film Drake has a bit of a more squeaky-clean image albeit a bit of a pickpocket. Nonetheless, he’s still the most honorable of everyone else in this flick. The characters in this universe are greedy, opportunistic and take any and every opportunity to backstab one another. The fact that those around Drake are far from the “honor among thieves” type, makes you more drawn to his moral compass regardless of the fact that he literally breaks the 7th commandment his damn self. When watching this, I am not at reminded that Holland was just Peter Parker a month prior. I dig his character and this film shows the range he’s capable of.

Now I won’t lie, I’m an Xbox gal so my experience from this particular game comes from walk throughs I’ve seen on YouTube and by way of my PlayStation friends. Tom Holland is the poster boy for the typical on-screen good guy… but as Drake not so much lol. It’s not that he’s bad in this because one must take into account that this is a version of Drake that has yet to be shitted on by the world. So, he isn’t as cynical and hardened by his experiences.

Mark “Marky” Wahlberg being cast as Sully isn’t believable.

Both Wahlberg and Holland had such great chemistry that the film works if you have no clue what’s going on or if you are unfamiliar with the original game story. But it helps a little that he dons his mustache by the end of the film. Still that gritty voice isn’t something we know Wahlberg for and it takes him forever to really trust Drake, not to mention do him dirty on every occasion. But it makes for an ok character development by the end.

Uncharted begins with Drake waking up hanging from cargo while midair. Like in the game, Drake consistently finds himself in peculiar situations having to use his own street smarts to aid him. We see that this opening scene cuts to his past and we’re in the beginning with him and older brother, Sam. The two of them both live in a group home but Sam eventually runs away after getting caught attempting to steal a treasure map. While the story later introduces Sully who claims he will help Drake to find Sam as well as Magellan’s lost gold. Their introduction is changed from that of the game with Sully and Sam having teamed up initially although this isn’t the case in the game. It is here Drake meets fellow thief Chloe through Sully, although in the game their beginning is different. It is here where she betrays them on every given opportunity, especially Drake. Still she isn’t the big bad of the film. That title goes to Santiago Moncada and hench-woman, Braddock, as played by Antonio Banderas and Tati Gabrielle, respectively. Moncada attempts to get his hands on Magellan’s treasure as he feels that it belongs to his family. Despite him being the “big bad”, it is Braddock who quickly dispatches of him and terrorizes Drake and Sully until the movie’s end. It is a game of cat and mouse even if ruined by shoddy product placement during a fight scene. (if you know, you know). I also want to point out Uncharted is hilariously flawed by some impossible Fast and the Furious-type action scenes. As I mentioned, it’s based on the game but still manages to have a life on its own. It sticks to its Indy Jones homages and multiple video game references. Aside from a few nuances, the film isn’t that bad. No, it’s not perfect and yes, the fan film from a few years ago adds insult to injury by giving it a run for the money… for a fraction of the budget. Yet after a second viewing, I enjoyed this film and I am curious to see how the characters will evolve, given a sequel comes out in the future. It’s a fun time for everyone, even for fans who will sit back and nitpick everything as us fans and gamers do.

Uncharted plays it safe for the most part. Despite its shortcomings, it’s still a fun movie. Have you seen Uncharted? Have you played any of the games? What did you think?

My vote: It’s Awesome and I give it 2.5 out of 4 thumbs up.

Until Next Time Kiddies,
Shalom

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