Tom Holland unleashes in the live-action adaptation of the PlayStation game, which has exhilarating action to complement its typical tropey “treasure hunting” story.
As a kid, Nathan Drake has always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Sam, who after a third arrest, escapes from their orphanage and promises he would get him back. Fifteen years has passed, and Nathan has given up all hope. Working as a bartender, he runs into private collector Victor “Sully” Sullivan, who offers Nathan, a pickpocket, a job. Nathan learns that Sully knows Sam and during their last expedition, Sam apparently has disappeared.
Nathan learns the job involves a legend Sam had told him about. A legend involving Magellan and how his ship’s crew found and hid a massive fortune in gold. When Nathan is put to the test by causing a distraction so Sully can steal a rare crucifix that is a key to the possible treasure, Sully is shocked to find ex-partner Jo Braddock, who works for Santiago Moncada, whose family was screwed out of the gold generations ago. From Barcelona to the Philippines, Nathan and Sully are about to embark on the quest of a lifetime. But can these two actually get along?
The hit video game franchise is exciting, and it was inevitable that we would get a live-action adaptation, which marks the debut of PlayStation Productions. While the characters are all there, notably the duo of Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan, the feel of the film is more what you expect in the “treasure hunting” genre of action films. There is a sense of predictability with the various twists and turns, and there are plenty. Thankfully, the cast helps elevate the film from making it a run by the numbers genre film.
Tom Holland is great to watch as the headstrong Nathan. Holland does most of his own stunts as well, which helps elevate the action. Using a lot of parkour skills, we get to see Holland shuck and jive his way through various obstacles and at times, finds himself in situations that are very dangerous. One thing is for sure. When Holland is ready to give up the moniker of Spider-Man, he has a back-up in Nathan. Mark Wahlberg is perfect as Sully as he and Holland go back and forth very well. It seems like Wahlberg is the perfect partner to anyone willing to go at him with loads of jabs and his chemistry with Holland is enough reason to see the film.
Antonio Banderas is great as a villain in the form of Santiago Moncada, whose ancestors were involved in the Magellan expedition. However, he serves more of a mastermind with his enforcer being Sully‘s ex Jo Braddock, played by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Tati Gabrielle. Jo’s loyalty is equal to her ruthlessness as she fights her way towards getting to our heroes while Sophia Ali’s Clare seems to be the most consistent double agent in the film, playing both sides like she’s some sort of Django or Yojimbo. You can’t tell what side she is working for, or even if she is playing both sides to her own advantage.
Uncharted may suffer in terms of its trope-filled story, but Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg’s chemistry along with the exhilarating action scenes puts this a cut above the rest. A fun adaptation of the video game franchise.
WFG RATING: B+
Columbia Pictures presents a PlayStation Productions film. Director: Ruben Fleischer. Producers: Charles Roven, Alex Gartner, Avi Arad, and Ari Arad. Writers: Rafe Lee Judkins, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway; story by Judkins, Jon Hanley Rosenberg, and Mark D. Walker; based on the Naughty Dog game. Cinemagoraphy: Chung-Hoon Chung. Editing: Chris Lebenzon and Richard Pearson.
Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle, Rudy Pankow, Pilou Asbaek, Steven Waddington, Nolan North.