While I cannot speak to the purity of Uncharted as a video game adaptation, from a film standpoint Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg chart a course for an exhilarating, action-packed adrenaline ride that left me wanting more.
Nathan Drake (Holland) is recruited by treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Wahlberg) to locate Magellan’s lost gold in what turns out to be a challenge of who can be trusted and a race against time as Mocada (Antonio Banderas) and his people seek the fortune for themselves. Uncharted is The DaVinci Code meets Tomb Raider for a younger, modern audience. Ripe with intriguing mystery and numerous twists and turns, the adventure is a whole lot of fun. The biggest strength it has going for it is its cast; Holland and Wahlberg are sensational together, playing off of each other with entertaining banter and believable chemistry. The supporting cast is equally as strong, especially Sophia Ali and Tati Gabrielle who, at times, steal the spotlight with their intensity and physical skill. Banderas is also well-utilized here.
Where Uncharted comes up a bit short is in originality and writing; though the plot is a ton of fun, it plays in the same sandbox as action-adventures that have come before. It also has moments of cheesy dialogue that leans into what I suspect was a desire to play it safe, appeal to wider audiences, and launch a franchise. For me, director Ruben Fleischer accomplishes all of this, capitalizing on story through-lines (what happened to Nathan’s brother?) and delivering an all around exciting outing. It should be noted that Holland is really coming into his own and Uncharted shows that from start to finish, giving him room to flex his physicality and emotional range in ways that show his growth. The Tom Holland era has certainly arrived. I can’t wait for more Uncharted.
Uncharted hits theaters Friday.
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter