The last good video game-to-movie adaptation was Warcraft, which flopped at the box office, except in the Chinese market. During the four game long 'Thieves' tale of the protagonist Nathan Drake, everyone who had experienced the game always described it with words such as 'cinematic', 'blockbuster', and 'the Indiana Jones of our generation'.
So, when it comes to the movie adaptation, there are many elements from the games that are left untouched. This reticence to translate those concepts harm both fans of the games and the uninitiated audience member. When you have Spider-Man himself as the lead actor, the expectations would be cautiously optimistic. Unfortunately, as a fan of the Uncharted games, this movie didn't live up to my expectations.
The film revolves around Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) along with Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). They are on the trail of Ferdinand Magellan's lost treasure. Even though they don't look the part (especially Sully), the buddy chemistry between Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg keeps things light throughout the movie. There are also some surprising but fun cameos that fans of the games will instantly recognise.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, who previously directed movies like Venom, Zombieland, etc., the Uncharted movie plot does not retread any of the games' stories, but pays homage to it. There are tons of references and easter eggs to the games throughout the whole movie. There are also characters like Chloe Frazer (Sophia Taylor Ali), who is an associate of Sully. This movie does not do justice to the character of Chloe. The antagonist Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) is serviceable in that he thinks Magellan's lost treasure is his birthright.
The many impressive action sequences of the film would be so much more impactful if it had any sense of danger to it. The movie's charismatic cast does its best to support the chemistry between the two leads, who steer you through well-worn action movie tropes, and glaring plot-holes. The actors are unfortunately afflicted with a bad script and spend too much time separating the movie from the game. It fumbles the McGuffins' importance to the plot, something the games did very well.
There is very little history shown about the treasure itself. There are many things that don't even make any sense, for instance, there is a secret underground chamber that can be seen from a drainage grate which ultimately leads to a nightclub. It is bizarre to think that no one has thought to look at it for the last 500 years. There is also a scene where Nathan had to go to a cave by diving under water and there were no other ways to go, and a couple of minutes later the bad guys arrived at the same place with boats!
Even though the first half is pretty boring, there is no denying the fact that the second half of the movie is pretty fun. The action sequences are over the top, especially the plane sequences which were ripped right out of the third game (Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception). Uncharted is a popcorn action-adventure flick that will appeal to the masses. But for the initiated, it is a different story altogether.