Movie Review: Uncharted (2022)

Based on the PlayStation series of video games of the same name, Uncharted is a 2022 action adventure film directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Venom). Nathan “Nate” Drake (Tom Holland) is a young New York bartender and pickpocket, who is recruited by Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to find the score of a lifetime: billions of dollars’ worth of lost gold. Standing in his way is Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) the heir of a powerful family, with Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as his top enforcer. Sophia Ali also stars as Chloe Frazer, another treasure hunter, and ally of Sully’s from previous jobs.

+ there is some nice scenery, as our heroes globe hop from clue to clue. Barcelona sure looks pretty

– I never once believed that Drake and Sully were friends, or even friendly with each other. Characters seem to betray and make amends with each other at the drop of a hat, even when there has been no previous interactions to suggest these are coming. These moments don’t feel like the ‘shocking twist’ they are meant to be, but just poor writing
– the film is chock full of poorly choreographed action scenes, which never have any real threat and feel like nobody was ever in any danger. Everything is completely bloodless (including one major moment where I fully expected something for at least the shock value), and entirely PG set pieces. I’m also not a fan of tiny women and (small Tom Holland) overpowering hulking bodyguards
– everything to do with the plot feels like a retelling of different or better movies, down to individual twists. These are predictable and cliched, and really ruined the pacing. Characters show up entirely at random with no possible way to be there (though there was one clever call back which I appreciated… but clearly expected)
– I know Nathan Drake in the games is a sassy, if not directly “funny” kind of guy, but the mid-fight Marvel quips will be the death of me. I can almost forgive the unnecessarily flashy ‘moves’ in the fights (like Drake using his bartending skills to spin a bottle around a few times before striking someone with it) but not when they are accompanied with a one-liner as well

> I was thrilled to see Pilou Asbæk’s (Game of Thrones‘ Euron Greyjoy) name high up in the credits, and derided myself for thinking I had missed his performance; he then appeared for about 30 seconds in the post-credits scene, and that was it

Should you see this film: I have not played the games, so I can’t comment directly on whether this was a good adaption. I do know however, that it was a bad movie in general. Don’t waste your time.

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