From impressive action set-pieces to sluggish character development, here are the ups and downs of Nathan Drake’s first live-action appearance
As the first Playstation Productions film Uncharted gears up for a February 18th US release, critic reviews have begun to pour in for the Tom Holland-Mark Wahlberg action flick.
Based on the hit Uncharted video game series, the film sets an origin story in place for street-smart Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and how destiny partners him up with experienced treasure hunter Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg).
Picking up key elements from the series’ four mainline games, it throws the duo into a globe-spanning adventure in search of riches and Nathan’s lost brother.
In a nutshell, Uncharted garnered mixed reviews from critics, pulling in both criticism and praise for various aspects of its 116-minute runtime. From impressive action set-pieces to sluggish character development, here are the ups and downs of Nathan Drake’s first live-action appearance.
“This film measures right up to what you’d expect from a movie based on a PlayStation video game. It’s a huge greenscreen action-adventure with a reasonable bang-buck ratio, but a box office algorithm where its heart is supposed to be.
The lovable rogues bop around from glamorous location to glamorous location and the whole thing runs smoothly enough, with some spectacular touches. Holland gives it his all, but the rest of the cast look a little less committed. An efficient, soulless hologram of a film.”
“Alas, despite the promise and all that time expended, it’s disappointingly weak sauce. For die-hard fans of the games, there’s little that lives up to their ingeniously unfolding action set-pieces, such as the train sequence in Uncharted 2.
Only the final 20 minutes, with a pirate-ship battle that takes to the skies, lives up to the giddy, inventive spectacle of the source material. Otherwise, Uncharted plods around an all-too-familiar map.”
Throughout all this, it’s hard to get a handle on why we should root for Nathan Drake, apart from the fact that he looks like Tom Holland. If you’re going to make your movie 90 percent quips, at least have them be good. There’s only so far that Holland’s aw-shucks geniality can carry a movie.
Unlike its title, Uncharted finds no new territory for the treasure-hunting flick. In the words of our greatest cinematic treasure hunter, it belongs in a museum.”
“Once Uncharted settles into its treasure-seeking groove, the movie finds its footing, leading to a thrilling third act and the promise of a new successful franchise for Holland and Wahlberg.
The photography and fight choreography in these sequences is stunning, and warrant the bump to an IMAX screening if you are checking Uncharted out at all.
It’s in these moments that Holland earns his keep through the physical nature of Drake, but credit goes to screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway for dreaming up these set pieces, as well as to Flesicher and his team for executing them.”
“Resembling the love child of Tomb Raider, Raiders of the Lost Ark and National Treasure, Uncharted definitely feels like a video game adaptation, so rapidly segueing from one elaborate action set piece to another that your fingers may start twitching while watching it.
You can’t say that the makers of Uncharted lack confidence, since the film ends with the sort of cliffhanger that basically promises a sequel. It’s a bold move, considering the number of video game film adaptations that have crashed and burned, but with the charismatic Holland as its star, it just may pay off.”
So far, Uncharted has opened early in just over a dozen international markets, raking in $21 million before it’s big debut across the US and India. Flawed but watchable, the film did spark up some fan conversation on Twitter this week, surrounding a 2018 short film project that took the Uncharted fan base by storm:
Uncharted releases in Indian cinemas on February 18th, 2022.
(Featured Image Credits: Sony Pictures)