‘Uncharted’ review

The new “Uncharted” movie, with all of its potential, still manages to bitterly disappoint.


Camille Gretter

“Uncharted” premiered on Feb. 18. The movie is based on the video game series of “Uncharted” which released the first game in 2007.

Ruben Fleischer’s new action picture “Uncharted” had everything going for it: A loyal fanbase of the original video game franchise, four intricate story plots in the “Uncharted” game series to choose from, and a budget of 120 million dollars. Yet the end product turned out to be less than desirable. From a Campbellian standpoint, the movie lacks a compelling call to adventure from the very get-go. After that, it’s like trying to build a house without a foundation.

Nathan Drake, played by Tom Holland, is a charming bartender in New York City who swipes jewelry from his customers. After stealing someone’s expensive bracelet while lighting their cigarette, he is approached by Sully, played by Mark Wahlberg, who enlists him to take part in a heist of a gold crucifix that leads to a lost Spanish treasure. Already the movie has strayed from the video game to the point of no recognition. In the original game, Sully is a charismatic 60-year-old businessman-turned-treasure hunter who recruits Nathan to seek out ancient riches. But in the movie, Mark Wahlberg seems to be playing Mark Wahlberg. Tom Holland’s Nathan is also haphazardly put together, with interspersed similarities being forced into the plot throughout the film. Staying true to the original game seemed to be an afterthought for Fleischer.

These deviations from the original game could’ve been perfectly fine, if not downright intriguing if Fleischer had succeeded in creating a coherent story and emotionally investing characters. Unfortunately, Uncharted comes nowhere near achieving either of these. In terms of the plot, as already mentioned, the call to action is confusing and occurs suddenly after being introduced to Nathan as a bartender, leaving no room for any meaningful background on Nathan’s current life. From there, the plot continues to become more and more convoluted, culminating in a completely hollow beginning, middle, and end. For an action movie, you’d also expect some thought to be put into the elaborate heist schemes. But instead, Uncharted regurgitates simplistic, stereotypical heist ploys, and even does so poorly. To compensate for this utter lack of substance, “Uncharted” essentially inserts “laugh now” moments randomly throughout the film. 

If you want an authentic and enjoyable “Uncharted” experience, it’s probably best to stick to the original video games.