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Uncharted (2022) Review – An Amiable Treasure Hunt Movie Featuring a Fun Performance From Mark Wahlberg

April 7, 2022

Quick Thoughts: Grade C+ – Uncharted is a wildly safe adventure film that is saved by a motor-mouthed Mark Wahlberg and a breakneck pace that gives the film constant momentum. It’s overly glossy and loaded with CGI-reliant action scenes (partially due to the pandemic), but the likable cast and amiable spirit make it worth watching. 

I love treasure hunt movies. If I was stuck on a desert island with only National Treasure, Sahara, Tomb Raider, Fool’s Gold, The Mummy, or any Indiana Jones film I’d be totally fine. There’s something about adventurous characters traversing the world in an attempt to find treasures that I love. The movies provide a welcome and comforting dose of treasure maps, shady characters, double-crosses, wild action set pieces, and the thrill of discovery. While I can’t say that many of them are examples of expertly crafted cinema, I can say that I love the heck out of them, and I hope they never stop making them because I’ll keep watching them for as long as they are being produced. I’m such an easy mark that I was sold on an Uncharted sequel during the opening moments of the movie that feature a cargo plane action scene involving pallets of military supplies dangling from an open cargo bay that is thousands of feet in the air (also, some henchmen meet horrifying ends while Holland cracks jokes). 

Based on the popular video game Uncharted, which has sold over 41 million copies since 2007, and has spawned into a vast universe of sequels and prequels, Uncharted (the movie) focuses on the exploits of Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), an orphan who becomes a petty thief and one of those bartenders who loves the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail. During one fateful night, he’s recruited by fortune hunter Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg who was originally supposed to play Drake in 2010), and he’s tasked with helping Sullivan and his frenemy Chloe Frazier (Sophia Ali) steal a cross that holds a clue for billions of dollars of treasure. This puts them in the crosshairs of billionaire treasure hunter Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) and his bodyguard Jo Braddock (Sophia Ali), who may have something to do with the demise of Nathan’s brother Sam Drake (Rudy Pankow). What follows is a globetrotting adventure that takes them to the Philippines, Spain, and New York City. The non-spoiler highlights include Holland hanging from light fixtures, flying boats, and Wahlberg unleashing a plethora of insults aimed at Holland, whom Wahlberg considered to be a little brother on set. 

Director Ruben Fleichser excels at creating intriguing friendships in movies like Zombieland and Venom, and here he does a mostly solid job of crafting a treasure hunt movie that flies by and allows Wahlberg and Holland to banter. What’s interesting is that Holland doesn’t seem totally comfortable riffing with Wahlberg andI noticed something off about Holland’s performance. While I was doing some research I came across a GQ interview where Holland mentions he tried too hard to look cool in the movie, and it kind of shows. There are moments in which he’s all puffed up and doesn’t seem comfortable in his skin. It’s nice to know he learned from the experience and hopefully a future Uncharted film allows him to relax a bit and enjoy the treasure hunt. 

Final thoughts Uncharted is a fun watch if you’re looking for an undemanding treasure hunt movie that is loaded with likable actors.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2022 5:55 pm

    After years of research my kids and I were heading to Wyoming this summer to claim the Fenn Treasure, but someone unfortunately beat us to it. So it is needless to say we love treasure hunt movies too. I took them to see this one and while it wasn’t a great movie, as you said it was fun, the action moved along at a fast pace, and the actors were great together and did their thing. Highly recommend it for a Sunday afternoon watch with a large bucket of popcorn with the family. The only problem we had was my 2 year old kept waiting on Spider-Man to hop out and it never happened. He was NOT happy.

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