The Uncharted movie has stellar action and faithful writing to the source material

Despite some flaws, this Uncharted movie has sequel potential.

Image via Clay Enos, CTMG, Inc, and Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Uncharted movie finally made it to theaters after seven directors and many years in development, but is it a diamond in the rough? Not exactly, but you could call it a gorgeous emerald with no shine. 

Tom Holland plays a young but relatable version of Nathan Drake in an adventure to find the treasure his brother longed to capture. Unfortunately, his counterpart is Mark Wahlberg’s uncharacteristic Sully. The two play off each other well, but it didn’t feel like Wahlberg nailed the character until the end of the film, not throughout. We really have the charming and cheeky Victor Sullivan in the last 20 minutes of the movie.

Image via Clay Enos, CTMG, Inc, and Sony Pictures Entertainment

Teaming up with Chloe Frazier (played by Sophia Ali), both Nathan and Sully are on the search for House of Moncada’s hidden treasure. Frazier is along for the ride, and the film gets her just right. She’s mysterious and you never know what side Chloe’s on. She blends right in with the duo and becomes somewhat of a romantic element for Holland’s character. 

What was a bit strange was the side plot involving Drake’s long-lost brother, Sam. This character doesn’t show up until Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End but somehow makes his way into the narrative. He isn’t a main character in this film, and while his disappearance does make an impact on the plot, I feel like Sam is being introduced way too early into the franchise.  

The writing has some great comedic moments, and Holland succeeds at bringing the quips whenever needed. However, the script lingers too long for an action movie. Sure, Nathan’s nerdy history knowledge comes through loud and clear, but there aren’t enough hand-to-hand combat and gunfights to keep you entranced into the movie. 

Unfortunately, the villains are underdeveloped, but the film does successfully give Antonio Banderas an intriguing, sinister flair. 

What fans of the original games might really like is the amount of love and attention placed into the script. There are some major phrases they worked into the script, and the personalities of the original characters are present within the movie’s cast. For example, Nathan says, “Oh, crap!” very often.

It’s when the action picks up that the movie shines. The airplane scene inspired by Uncharted 3 is absolutely amazing to witness as Drake makes death-defying leaps on a chain of boxes in mid-air. Holland has said that it was his hardest scene to shoot ever, and the five weeks it took to make it happen was well worth it. We won’t spoil the ending action scenes, but they are downright incredible as Drake finally gets into his element. 

Image via CTMG, Inc and Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Uncharted games are a worldwide adventure, and the movie takes advantage of its multiple sources of scenery. The film looks gorgeous as the crew explores San Francisco, Barcelona, and the Philippines. If you’re a fan of the series, you may even recognize a few of the landmarks, especially towards the end. 

Another aspect of the film you may dig as a fan is how the characters figure out puzzles. In one part of the movie, Nathan and Chloe are exploring a cave underneath Barcelona, and they must use their wits to survive.

There also comes some of the banter we know and love, but it’s not as great as the playable portrayal in the games. The overall vibe brings to mind the excellent National Treasure movies as the characters face mortal danger and opposing forces, while comedic banter is spread throughout.

While not as thrilling as the games, the Uncharted movie soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi does a decent job at bringing the same energy into movie form. The main theme brings a lighter, more adventurous tone in this alternate universe take on Uncharted. It’s pleasantly dropped throughout the soundtrack when Nathan is prominent in a scene; one great example is in the song “Clockwise Keys.” 

But, if you’re a fan of Greg Edmonson’s original soundtrack from the games, you should be happy. “Nate’s Theme” is introduced in two perfect ways throughout the Uncharted film. We won’t spoil how they make their way into the soundtrack, but they’re excellently timed with Drake’s character progression in the flick. 

Image via Clay Enos, CTMG, Inc. and Sony Pictures Entertainment

If you decide to watch the Uncharted movie, you’ll want to stay after the credits. It shows the potential this franchise can have on the big screen, and I hope Sony Pictures is able to fulfill it. Overall, the Uncharted film is well worth a watch for fans of the franchise alongside their friends and family. Despite having too much talking and not enough punching for an action film, this new take on the franchise is a thrilling adventure to watch in the theater. The action scenes are exciting to watch, and Tom Holland, despite being a little too young for the role, nails the part with his comedic chops and acting ability. Give this a watch so we can get a sequel.