Uncharted [Grade: 72.5%]

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Story By: Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Jon Hanley Rosenberg, & Mark D. Walker

Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, & Antonio Banderas

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I’ve never played the game Uncharted before, and with talks of The Last of Us in production for a live action film, this is a pretty good re-introductory movie for the PS game franchise.

* * *

Theme: D

Plot & Story: C

Pacing: B

Character: D

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Entertainment Factors

General Public: Wait for Streaming

Film Enthusiasts: Don’t Watch

Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Don’t Watch

Adventure Action Fans: Wait for Streaming

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TAKEAWAYS:

1. The most exciting moment of the film for me was the plane scene. It was as if it was pulled directly from the game itself. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

2. I loved Tati, I really did, but that fight choreography with the museum security looked choreographed and moved a little slow. 👀🥴

3. An orphan turned adult pickpocket takes on a childhood dream opportunity to hunt for a historical treasure, presented by a stranger with ties to his brother who not only introduced him to the dream opportunity when they were young, but who has also been MIA for a few years. This is Uncharted. 

The strength of this film is Acts Two and Three when the opportunity is in motion and center stage. The engagement is watching the characters on this scavenger hunt of sorts which I think is the basis of the PS4 game. 

My issue with the story is the lack of follow through with Nate Drake being interested in treasure hunting. There’s this short conversation that happens in the first 8-10 minutes, and then after that… Nate is a grown man who works as a bartender when he’s not picking pockets. Like, huh? 

There was also the first 3-5 minutes of the film giving a foreshadow with the intent of showing young vs older Nate as if that was supposed to be something to look forward to? It was a waste of 5 minutes, in my opinion, in addition to a waste of the first Act. 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️

4. Now how is it that Nate had to swim “under and over” to get there… but then when Tati got there, she order her boat straight through an opening? Talk about poor editing. 🤦🏾‍♂️

5. Oh… wait…. To piggyback off point #1, I think my other favorite scene was with the ships… now that was also exciting to watch and felt directly out of a video game. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

6. I really enjoyed the charming interactions between Tom and Mark. With this film seemingly being a “pilot” for a possible franchise, I look forward to seeing how this partnership continues to develop. I can see them being like the yt Will Smith and Martin Lawrence of Bad Boys. 

Additionally, I really enjoyed Sophia Ali and she may have honestly helped to elevate the interactions between our male leads, and help Tom shine a little bit more. 

HOWEVER… the development and follow through of the characters were pretty lazy. As mentioned with my comment about the story/plot, Act One really rushed my ability to understand Nate Drake. I mean, everything after the first 10 minutes with Nate felt like a totally different person—like, how does a innocent child with this nerd-adjacent interest in history become a member of misdemeanors, and a martial artist? And at least due to the genre, I could’ve accepted the martial art had it been attached to a well developed character. 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️👎🏾

7. The messaging that I felt the film attempted to get through was this idea around what makes a family. Unfortunately, the idea of “family” via Nate’s brother felt more like an after thought that was strategically, but poorly, edited in. 

On the plus side, the partnership between Nate and Vic sums up the initial idea in a pretty decent way…even though it sums it more like a partnership than a brotherhood. 🥴

8. In addition to my concern about the life shift from childhood to adulthood, how was he able to be such a skillful “pickpocket-eur”? 😂😂😂🤦🏾‍♂️

9. Not the cat! 😂

10. In the first 15-20 minutes of the film, I said to myself, “This film is moving pretty good. I like how it’s wasting no time getting to the core motivation/premise of the game.” 

And for the most part, this film moves in a quick, fun, and engaging way—especially Acts Two and Three. My issue with the pacing is that it moves too fast with developing and following through on Nate’s character. Luckily, Acts Two and Three’s focus on the hunt is enough of a distraction. 🤷🏾‍♂️👍🏾

* * *

Overall #Uncharted gives Red Notice – meets Legends of the Hidden Temple – meets Shang Chi. 

You know, this isn’t “theater-worthy great,” but isn’t a bad viewing when needing a little down time…at home…although I am not sure if certain scenes would have the same impact if on regular tv… which means the film should’ve invested more in those blockbuster elements throughout the entire film vs those isolated moments. 

BUT it is a “cute” action film, and I will say I am interested in seeing what the next film will give, particularly the charming partnership between Tom and Mark.

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