Rating: 12A Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas. Sophia Ali and Tati Gabrielle. Directed by Ruben Fleischer Written by Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Jon Hanley Rosenberg and Mark D. Walker Length: 116mins
Uncharted is a straightforward action/adventure flick and a bit of fun for all the family. Of our leading characters we have Nathan Drake (Holland), a tough kid with a passion for history, making money as a cocktail waiter/pickpocket, ripping off rich people in the bar and ‘Sully’ (Wahlberg) who observes Nate’s thieving and presents him with a proposition: a scene with similarities to that of George Clooney meeting Matt Damon for the first time in Ocean’s Eleven. Sully entices Nate into helping him track down a golden key that could lead them to riches, riches that Nate had heard about and studied with his brother, who incidentally is now missing. In preparation for their quest to seek out Magellan’s 16th century loot, Sully’s admission that he once knew Nate’s brother, only adds a personal drive for Nate to assist his new partner in crime.
Nate and Sully’s relationship is the heart of the narrative, though the film takes an origin story approach in this first instalment. Our two heroes learn to trust each other as their adventure unfolds, even if the road to get there is a bumpy one. They’re a far cry from the chummy partners in crime that are portrayed in the origin materials, with Nate questioning Sully’s motives every step of the way. Chloe Fraser (Sophia Ali) adds an extra layer of intrigue as a fellow treasure hunter, with a steely focus and determination of her own. Nate is never quite sure who to trust, or if he can trust anyone at all.
Tom Holland is the real driving force of the film. He brings his usual ‘cheeky chap’ vibes while throwing himself fully into the widespread story. Wahlberg has been criticised for his role in this movie, it seems several fans of the games were upset with his casting initially, but his portrayal of Sully is a bit flat – it’s fine, but nothing to shout about. Sophia Ali and Tati Gabrielle bring sass and strength to both of their characters which helps to broaden the overall feel of the movie. Of course, Antonio Banderas is the ultimate family movie villain, he’s just threatening enough to know he’s the ‘bad guy’ without engaging in a darker side that wouldn’t be appropriate for a movie of this type and certification.
Uncharted isn’t a great action movie, but it is a good one. It’s definitely a good option as a film for all the family. It’s simplistic ‘solve the clues onto the next’ type plot doesn’t keep you guessing and it’s twists are obvious to audiences to enjoy a film of this genre. But purely based on entertainment value, I can’t really criticise it too much – it’s simple, possibly a bit forgetful, but enjoyable in the moment.