Title – Uncharted (2022)
Director – Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad)
Cast – Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle
Plot – On the hunt for a lost fortune, treasure hunters Nathan Drake (Holland) and Victor Sullivan (Wahlberg) must battle each other and a collection of gold hungry criminals if they want to succeed in their potentially life changing quest.
“I’ve been dreaming about this stuff since I was a kid”
Review by Eddie on 21/02/2022
Going through a far more arduous process than many feature films would come close to experiencing when it comes to simply seeing the light of day, with news of an Uncharted movie being bandied about all the way back in 2008 with announcements following in 2010 that director David O. Russell would be the man in charge of the film as it stood those many moons ago, the first feature of the newly minted Sony Playstation Productions is thankfully more entertaining than most video game adaptations but in the harsh reality of the real world, that’s not much of an achievement.
Full of life, spectacle, lovable characters and more than its fair share of Indiana Jones DNA, Sony’s incredibly popular Uncharted video game series is a deservedly praised property that many were excited to see be turned into a real life living and breathing entity but while director for hire Ruben Fleischer nails a few set pieces and continues on the type of form he showed with the second Zombieland and the first Venom (with his 2009 Zombieland debut feature feeling more and more like a fluke occurrence), there’s a blandness too Uncharted that is unavoidable, as the low hanging fruit it clearly was attempting to reach sits firmly in its grasp.
Following the treasure hunting exploits of new partners in crime, Tom Holland’s daring Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg’s long time swindler Victor Sullivan, as the two miss-matched operators attempt a globe spanning hunt of Ferdinand Magellan lost fortune that also is being hunted down by Sophia Ali’s Chloe Frazer and Antonio Banderas’s villain by the numbers Santiago Moncada, Uncharted is absolutely Indiana Jones lite, just without the winning jokes, the constant inventiveness and the wholly engaging characters.
Getting started with a fairly eye-popping set piece that quickly gives way to an extended predominantly pedestrian formula of Drake and Sullivan getting to know each other while tracking down the next clue to their golden dreams, Uncharted struggles to do much of note for a significant amount of time with the film and us an audience awaiting something or someone to awake the films sleepwalking feeling that only really ever comes far too late in the equation when flying pirate ships and daring plane escapes take hold.
Showcasing that Fleischer does know his way around an action set piece and a comedic set-up and that his tried and true performers have engaged and entertained audiences around the world countless times before, there’s stages late in the piece here where Uncharted shows a little more energy and showmanship giving it more winning moments than your average video game adaptation but it’s not enough to save the film entirely from its monotonous moments and uninspiring chemistry from its two main leads.
Involved in the project for better part of a decade, Wahlberg was always a somewhat controversial choice as Sullivan and he does nothing to try and elevate himself from his recent funk of paycheck collecting performances and can’t do enough to make us think we’re watching anyone but Marky Mark while the so hot right now Holland commits himself physically as Drake, his turn also isn’t worth celebrating with the two well-liked actors unable to generate much spark together let alone individually, a problem the film was never going to overcome no matter how much else it may’ve gotten right.
Final Say –
There is fun to be had from Uncharted but most of the good times start rolling in a little too late to save the day, with it’s off the boil leads and by the numbers storytelling, this latest video game come to life blockbuster may not be sunken treasure but its unable to provide a reason to get excited about another hunt anytime soon.
2 1/2 Naughty Dog stickers out of 5