Uncharted – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Uncharted – Drake Uncoordinated: A Story of False Gold

It begins with a moment.  Within that moment is a building of tantalizing thoughts.  This leads to a flurry of emotions, creating layers of wonder in the unknown.  No matter what may come … it is an adventure that you hope is timeless.  In this review, I look at a video game adaptation years in the making.  Based on a popular franchise, the film moves along familiar aesthetics with varying results.  Uncharted is an adventure that heeds the question … is the gold worth the journey?

The story follows Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), a young man living in New York.  Being recognized because of his street-smarts, Sully (Mark Wahlberg) recruits him in his search for Magellan’s lost treasure.  When it comes to video game adaptations, they haven’t been the best of tales (with a few exceptions).  With this next attempt, there is a lot of fanfare because of the cinematic nature of the Play Station franchise.  The games are known for their story depth, characterization and strong emotional journeys.  No matter how amazing the games are, adapting to another medium will bring about certain changes and risks.  With this film, the story attempts to build up a younger version of Nathan Drake, distancing (somewhat) from the game’s main narrative.  In the beginning, you get a quick backstory that lays the foundation for our main character.  After this introduction, the first act becomes a setup of the relationship between Drake and Sully.  After a few banter-like scenes, this sets the stage for their central plot: finding Magellan’s lost treasure.  From here, the journey springboards into a second act that is a fractured narrative of game references, adventure tropes and unorthodox action set-pieces.  There is a lackluster attempt in building the story for a juvenile script, as character interactions fall into a lethargic trap of one-liners, comedic folly and conversational exposition.  Within the hollowness of the adventure, what keeps any worth (in watching) is Holland’s strength as an actor and the cinematography.

As the duo pieces together each clue, this leads into a web of additional subplots.  Within this web, the story becomes a convoluted mess of false motives and heel turns.  The forced attempt of conflict just makes each situation more unbearable, leveling out any emotional elements that are felt within the amazing action set pieces.  Within all this mess, the shining light of Holland’s own characterization of Nathan Drake keeps you wanting him to succeed in the mission.  With all the clues in place, this leads to a final act where the shining light of the adventure comes to the forefront.  With everything on the line, we get a mixture of superb cinematography and action, leading to a climax that is better than expected.  Uncharted is a video game adaptation that becomes lost in the sea of other adventure films.  For all the misfires, there is enough in the end for slight enjoyment.  If you are a fan of the actors or adventure films, this might be worth seeing on the big screen.  I would (even for fans) wait to rent this at home.

Full Score – 2 out of 5 (Rental)

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