Review: ‘Uncharted’ an entertaining movie, but lacks depth


Columbia Pictures

Javen Oswald, Staff Writer

“Uncharted” is an  action-adventure movie (based on the popular video game series of the same name) that further proves that Sony can only create average movies. The movie was released in the US on Feb 18th.

The story follows Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), a young bartender, who is recruited by treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to find the lost treasure of a deceased explorer. Sully and Drake must use the clues left by Drake’s dead brother, Sam, to finish the mission he set out to accomplish. They must find the treasure before the obsessed millionaire treasure hunter, Santiago Moncada, uncovers it first. 

This movie takes heavy inspiration from the PlayStation video game series it is based on. The movie pulls many scenes from the source material (specifically “Uncharted 2” and “Uncharted 3”, but fails to do them any justice due to it’s 116 minute runtime. In the game, tension rises as time goes on leading to a high-stakes moment whereas, in the movie, time is not allocated to allow the stress to build. 

The main issue this movie has is that it is an origin story for the relationship of  Drake and Sully. One of the best parts of the “Uncharted” game series is the comedic back and forth between Drake and Sully. They share a close relationship that is rewarding to play through. In the movie, they do have constant back and forth but it comes off in a rude, toxic manner rather than the playful way it is intended. Drake and Sully are rarely portrayed as friends let alone family during the movie. Seeing one of the most iconic duos of gaming’s relationship strangled was difficult to endure.

Another major problem with this movie is the casting. When it was announced it was very controversial because Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg look nothing like their video game counterparts. Tom Holland looks like he is about 19 whereas Drake in the games is 31 years old. On the other hand, Mark Wahlberg looks like he is in his late 30s or early 40s whereas Sully in the games is 65 years old. It made it very difficult to believe that they were playing the beloved characters from the games.

While “Uncharted” has many flaws, one area where it thrives is the set designs. The sets of each scene were gorgeous, and viewers can tell they were crafted meticulously. They really lean into the adventure and treasure-hunting aspect of the movie. Sully’s house has papers lying everywhere with many rare artifacts randomly scattered around. It goes a long way into explaining the background of the dry-humored treasure hunter. There are many other instances of the beautiful set design coming into play with the movie. 

“Uncharted” is a fun, entertaining, adventure film, but is just the cliff notes version of the game. If you have the time to play the “Uncharted” games, I would recommend that over the movie. While I consider this movie to be painstakingly average, I am still hopeful for a sequel to deliver accurate depictions of the characters and their relationships in the games. “Uncharted” is still playing in theaters today and the entire video game series is available on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.