Uncharted, the latest Tom Holland film based on the video game of the same name, is pretty much like those Dwayne Johnson movies with too many set pieces and too little content. It’s not a film that fails to entertain you. But it clearly isn’t a film that is going to feel engaging. With a slim plot that narrates an extremely predictable idea, the film’s passable feel relies heavily on the likability of Tom Holland.
Nathan Drake, aka Nate, is a collector/fortune hunter. He was living the life of a bartender until Victor Sullivan recruited him for a mission. Even though Nate rejects the proposal, Sully gives him hope that the mission to find the ships containing gold, hidden by the infamous 18, could actually help Nate find his long-lost brother. Nate’s journey to find his brother and the events in that journey are what we see in Uncharted.
The movie begins in the middle of a set-piece. We then go back to the past to see the younger days of Nate and his brother Sam. In those areas, director Ruben Fleischer tried to make the visuals appealing in terms of choreography. But when the story jumps back to the past, the laziness in writing starts to show up. I know it’s a movie based on a game. But when you try to make a movie out of it, some consideration should be there in creating a fresh and engaging background and reasons for the characters.
In terms of physicality and performance, Tom Holland is evolving. The inherent vulnerability in his face helps Uncharted achieve an emotional depth. And somewhere, I feel people should stop calling him Kid on screen. Mark Wahlberg, as Sullivan, plays a character with no complications, and it was a cakewalk for him. Sophia Ali, as Chloe Frazer, gets a good chunk of screen time. But again, the character doesn’t feel like a challenge. Tati Gabrielle and Antonio Banderas are also playing these typical characters that we see in these kinds of films.
When you convert a ride or a game into a cinema, you should be able to explore characters and stories in a much deeper way. The desire to be a frequently chaotic entertainer is the problem with Uncharted. They are just making set pieces one after the other to make it look like this popcorn entertainer. The film ends with the possibility of a sequel, and that scene was something everyone could guess when the first half an hour of the movie was over. At times, the visual effects lacked perfection, and the cuts in set-pieces were a bit too chaotic.
Uncharted is not a boring film considering the way it is paced. But the template nature of the film, with almost every scene having this “have seen that a lot” feel, Uncharted felt more like an assembled blockbuster formula than a creative interpretation of a video game story. The only takeaway for me was seeing Tom Holland in a mature avatar even though he is always addressed as a kid.
Uncharted, the latest Tom Holland film based on the video game of the same name, is pretty much like those Dwayne Johnson movies with too many set pieces and too little content.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended