Uncharted stars Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg as Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan who are the buddy cop, treasure hunting team we never knew we needed. While, yes, the film is based on an action-adventure video game you do not need to be familiar with the game in order to enjoy this entertaining film.
Like the main series of Uncharted games, the film also follows Nathan Drake (Tom Holland). When we first meet Drake, he isn’t the treasure hunter who travels across the world uncovering various historical mysteries. Yet. The film opens with a huge action sequence straight out of the video game cut sequences. We see Drake wake up, foot tied to a cargo box falling out of the sky. As he climbs and fights his way back to the flight, we cut to 15 years ago.
This is where we learn the backstory of Nathan and Sam Drake, two orphan boys in love with History and treasure. Sam (Rudy Pankow), the biggest troublemaker of the two, gets his third strike, but instead of going to jail, runs off in search of freedom and Ferdinand Magellan’s lost treasure. Cut forward to almost present day, we meet adult Nathan Drake who is a wise-cracking, bartending, pickpocket who would give Dogger a run for his money.
Next, we meet Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), a fellow con artist with a million secrets all his own. However, the one secret he has is the location of Nate’s long-lost brother, Sam. Whom he promises to take Nathan to meet IF he helps him finish the treasure hunt they were on together. Through twist and turn, fighting friends and foes they embark on the quest to find the greatest treasure never found.
TOM HOLLAND AND MARK WAHLBERG AND THEIR IMPECCABLE CHEMISTRY
Holland is fantastic in this role. We’ve seen him tackle Spider-man with ease, and now he’s taking those skills, along with his incredible charm, bringing them into Uncharted, and placing them onto Drake. He is funny, witty, and goes toe to toe with the likes of Wahlberg as if they’ve been working together for years. While I do enjoy Holland in action films like these, I cannot wait until he’s allowed to take risks vs playing Peter Parker until the end of time.
Wahlberg does what he does best – play an asshole with a heart of gold. Holland’s naive, but streetwise Drake, and Walberg’s “old wise man” ways lead to a great “buddy cop” team that I haven’t seen since Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men in Black.
Uncharted introduces Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali), who fans of the series know as Drake’s love interest. While Ali does a great job, she’s underutilized and very much a throwaway character. Like the video games, they may have wanted to save her until the sequel. Antonio Banderas (Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) always makes an incredible villain. Watching him work his magic is exactly why he was cast as the ultimate bad guy, Santiago Moncada. But, the biggest standout for me is Tati Gabrielle (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Not only does she make a GREAT villain, but she handles the stunts, and powerhouse moments like the pro that she is.
WALKING THROUGH A VIDEO GAME
There are moments in the film that pay homage to the Uncharted video game that I hope fans of the series will enjoy. From multiple cutscenes straight from the game, or even the moment in front of the ships that I remember vividly. As well as, a fantastic cameo worthy of Stan Lee-type hype. I also appreciate the little nod to “gunpowder”. Don’t worry, you’ll know it when you see it.
While the film does take liberties with the story, mixing and matching storylines from multiple games, going on this film adaptation treasure hunt with Drake and Sully is still a fun adventure that anyone can enjoy. Go into this film ready to be entertained, laugh your butt off, and fall in love with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg all over again.
Oh…and don’t forget to stay for a mid-credits scene!