Review: Uncharted

Sometimes I miss films that have come out in 2022. I’m human. Occasionally, I’ll catch up on some films I finally got around to that I may have missed.

Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) has been on his own since his his brother Sam left as a child. Nathan gets by on pickpocketing patrons at his bartending job. One day, Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) recruits him to find a lost treasure hidden by the crew of Ferdinand Magellan.

Opposing the pair is Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), a ruthless treasure hunter with ties to the expedition and Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), a mercenary working for Moncada. Sully’s contact Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) works with the pair, but keeps an eye out for Sully’s devious nature. The pair attempt to discover the treasure before Moncada while also avoiding potential trouble along the way.

The film wants so hard to be something that transcends the video game narrative mixed with National Treasure, but the level of commitment is nowhere near where it needs to be. There is a general understanding of the mythology of the character, but they don’t develop it enough for casual fans or non-gamer viewers to invest.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Yes, I’m spoiling a slight plot twist in the film, but at one point, Banderas’ Moncada is double-crossed and has his throat slit by Braddock. Banderas writhes around and eventually lies dead on the ground. The scene is in no way graphic and it actually looks like Banderas has a red Expo marker across his throat doubling for blood. The scene as a whole is indicitive of the level of effort.

Hollard is at least trying. He’s in great shape and fills out the role of a charasmatic presence. Drake characterization isn’t exactly dynamic, but Holland does what he can with the role. On the flip side, Wahlberg is the exact wrong person to co-star as Sully. 15 years ago, he might have made a workable version of Drake, but this is new time. The sheen of stardom has dulled the actor’s sensibilities. He has no spark and sleepwalks through scenes. Despite being the second-billed actor, you constantly forget he is in the movie.

Banderas is serviceable as the European heavy, but doesn’t last long. Gabrielle does fine, but she feels like a version of the film that wanted Cynthia Erivo, but couldn’t get her. Likewise, Ali feels like the 8th option for the top-billed female star. The entire cast seems thrown together outside of Holland.

Some set pieces occasionally get fun, but then it gets boring again. Rarely has a film felt so lifeless and expensive. While this film might be the launching pad for a potential franchise, they better figure something else out for the second movie, because this is a terrible way to start.


Uncharted is now streaming on Netflix
Score: 2.0/5.0

Review: Bullet Train
Review: Top Gun: Maverick

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