My Thoughts on: Uncharted (2022)

*note: This review was originally published on Patreon in February

Against my better judgement, I went to see Uncharted, the long-gestating movie adaptation based on the video game series of the same name. Tom Holland plays treasure hunter Nathan Drake while Mark Wahlberg is his partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan. The film follows the duo (and others) as they hunt down a missing fortune in gold worth billions.

Based on the mixed reviews I’d heard so far about this film, I was very worried about whether this film would be any good. However, my curiosity won out and I decided it was worth the risk to go. After all, the movie is just under 2 hours, so I figured it couldn’t be THAT bad.

Well, after sitting through the movie, I can officially report that Uncharted is nowhere near as bad as I feared it might be. While heavily flawed (I’ll get to those in a moment), the film does have some decently choreographed action moments and more than a few callbacks to the video games that I could appreciate (I haven’t played too far into the Uncharted games but I recognized a few easter eggs). The scenes where Nate and his cohorts are actively pursuing the treasure are by far the best moments in the film.

I’m also pleased to say that the film’s score is pretty decent. I also really appreciated that Nolan North (voice actor for Nathan Drake in the video games) made a cameo appearance in the movie (I won’t say where, but it’s pretty obvious when the moment comes).

Unfortunately, the good parts of the film are almost completely overshadowed by an almost criminal case of miscasting. My initial fears about this film when I saw the first trailer were unfortunately confirmed: Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland are completely miscast as Sully and Nathan Drake. Holland is clearly putting his heart and soul into the performance, I’ll give him that, but I never could quite suspend my disbelief that this young man was Nathan Drake. And Wahlberg…..ugh. I don’t know, there was something about his performance that rubbed me slightly wrong throughout. Maybe it was the constant wisecracks, or just the way the character was written for the film, but I found myself definitely not liking him for most of the story (though he did kind of grow on me by the end).

It also mortifies me to say that Antonio Banderas was criminally misused in this film, to the point where I would almost accuse the film of a bait and switch. I was so excited to see Banderas play the villain in this movie….yea that’s not quite what happened.

I wasn’t really surprised to see a sequel hook at the end of the film and as much as the flaws bothered me, I was slightly surprised to realize I wouldn’t mind seeing another Uncharted movie. After all, a second film might give the filmmakers a chance to correct the flaws of the first one.

My final thoughts on the Uncharted movie are this: I’ve seen better movies than this, but I’ve also seen much worse. If you have two hours to kill, this isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon or evening. 

Let me know what you thought about Uncharted in the comments below and have a great day!

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