Uncharted – like watching a playthrough of the games but with the boring bits cut out

USA, 2021 | 117′ | FSK 12 | Action / Abenteuer | 💙💙💙💙

OT: Uncharted
Regie: Ruben Fleischer
Mit: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas

I have never played a single Uncharted game. I have, however, seen a complete playthrough of two of them, thanks to lazy summer vacations at my Dad’s place and my brother, who will not travel without at least one gaming consoles at any given time – three if he stays for a week or longer. And because he enjoys playing one game from start to finish at a time, I got to watch Uncharted 3 and 4 in all their glory. And honestly? Watching the games was fun, because a lot of it felt pretty much exactly like watching an action movie.

So obviously my brother and I had to go and watch Uncharted when it hit cinemas. We didn’t really have big expectations – a fun but not very deep action flick. And that is basically exactly what this was, but it also was a great video game adaptation and that made it a bit more fun than most other 08/15 action flicks.

Uncharted – the movie version – not only contains several iconic scenes that are basically identical to those in the Uncharted games, it also has a lot of other, tiny nods towards the game series, such as the developer’s logo showing up as a sticker on a suitcase or the original Nathan Drake, Nolan North, who did the motion capture and voice acting for the games‘ Nathan Drake, sipping cocktails on a beach and reminiscing about the time he fell out of a car that fell out of a plane with the movie’s Nathan Drake.

Hey, somebody should make a game out of this! 4/5

My brother, the oh so funny gamer

Speaking of, the movie’s version of Nathan Drake, portrayed by Tom Holland, is different from the games, sure, he’s quite a bit younger for one thing, but like other characters, including Mark Wahlberg’s Sully, he seems like an updated version of his video game alter ego – clearly recognizable, paying homage to the original but with a new spin for the big screen. And they were great. Perfect action movie heroes.

However, Uncharted also was exactly that: an action movie and not a very innovative one. A large reason for that might be that parts of it were taken directly from the games and for those familiar with the games these … nostalgic moments (?) seemed to clash somewhat with the new and „improved“ versions of the characters.

The games themselves are already have this sometimes down right breath-taking action movie feeling and the movie itself did not manage to top that. Yes, it cut out some of the slower gameplay bits but especially because the larger elements of not just the story but also the visuals were almost all taken directly from the games, the movie felt like it was relying too much on the games.

If you go into this as a fan of the games (or, as in my case, someone who had enjoyed the cineastic elements of the games), Uncharted works really well because of all the big and small nods to its origins but apart from that? It’s a basic action flick that relies probably too much on insider jokes and nods towards the franchise. Still, I personally enjoyed the movie a lot, it was just the kind of entertaining action movie I had hoped for and I am very much looking forward to a possible sequel!

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