For years I’ve wondered when some of the better storytelling video games would become a feature film. Uncharted was one of those video game franchises, with 4 fantastic “Game of the Year” quality entries. Part of the reason those games were so popular was their fantastic storytelling and voice acting. That said, expectations from fans of the games likely were high… I am one of those fans.
Uncharted, with a star-studded cast with the likes of Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, follows the story of Nathan Drake (Holland) as he heists, swashbuckles, parkours and works his way through solving cryptic treasure legends. As mentioned, the movie is an adaptation of the video game franchise but takes some artistic liberties as it pulls some elements from the video games and turns it into its own original story (and likely the start of a continued movie franchise).
The movie serves as an introduction to the Nathan Drake character, his origin, and a gentle introduction to some of Drake’s known associates such as Victor Sullivan (Wahlberg) who serves as a ‘mentor’ figure and Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) as a potential love interest. I appreciated the fact that the story was unique and well put together… rather than being a straight pull from the video games. Video game fans will likely notice parallels or the odd scene which is almost a call back to events in the games but they’re all done with their own flare and perfect for live-action. Gamers will also be happy to spot a familiar face…err… voice… as Nolan North makes a cameo appearance. The North, the voice actor from the video game, also makes a wisecrack call back gamers will recognize.
As the movie progressed, fans of adventure films will appreciate the usual twists and turns as the merry band of treasure seekers aim to find the lost gold treasure of Magellan. The typical adventure tropes can be expected but are often followed by amazing action, acrobatics, and comedy. Towards the end of the film, some of the action scenes start to remind me of some of the humorous but enjoyable outlandish shenanigans you may find in some Bond movies. It had me going “really, we are doing this?” while loving every moment.
So what are my final thoughts? Well, as a gamer you may have wished for someone like Nathan Fillion to play Nathan Drake… but I quickly changed my mind as Tom Holland shined in his usual Tom Holland way. I love the cast, I loved the story, I loved the action…. heck, the jokes, callbacks, and think the movie is perfectly set up for a continued franchise. For an adventure film, I thought it was memorable and unique. I’d probably describe it as the approachability of “National Treasure” but the staying power of a ‘Da Vinci Code’. I highly recommend it for all! I think this franchise, to quote Nathan Drake, has “Greatness, from small beginnings”.