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  • Bryan Tan

UNCHARTED: The Movie You Want to Play

UNCHARTED is a fun action-adventure movie that actually makes you want to try out the game but like any video game movie adaptations, overzealous fans who already know the plot and characters well, will have to go into this with expectations managed.

Mark Wahlburg & Tom Holland
UNCHARTED Stars - Mark Wahlburg & Tom Holland

UNCHARTED is directed by Ruben Fleischer, based on a series of games of the same name developed by Naughty Dog. It follows a younger Nathan Drake, played by Tom Holland, and Victor “Sully” Sullivan, played by Mark Wahlberg as they follow a string of clues in an attempt to find a long lost treasure. Although the story features a younger version of the characters, players of the games might realise that some of the events in the story exactly don’t line up with the canon established by Naughty Dog in the games, such as Nathan’s first meeting with Sully and Chloe Frazer, a longtime supporting character in the games, making this a different canon.

Tom Holland Uncharted
Tom Holland in iconic Uncharted's cargo plane scene

Story-wise, unlike Raiders of the Lost Ark that has deep cinematic subtext, Uncharted is all about grand action set pieces that you’ll find yourself very satisfied with. If you have played at least the mainline series of games, you’ll be able to appreciate many of the easter eggs laid out throughout the movie, not to mention that cargo plane action sequence straight out of Uncharted 3.

Character-wise, Holland carries most of the film with his performance as younger Nate, likeable, naive, charismatic and new to the game of treasure hunting.

Mark Wahlburg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan
Mark Wahlburg as Victor “Sully” Sullivan

On the other hand, you might have some trouble imagining Wahlberg as Sully, and he doesn’t have his iconic moustache or cigar.

Victor “Sully” Sullivan without his signature moustache
Victor “Sully” Sullivan without his signature moustache

The relationship between Nathan and Sully is written to be witty and funny, especially that bubblegum scene near the end, which got me laughing. The actors themselves have good chemistry with each other but as Nate and Sully specifically, viewers that have played the games might find that they are not quite the duo that they remember.

Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer
Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer

Joining them is a supporting cast that takes a backseat for our main duo to shine. Characters such as Chloe Frazer, played by Sophia Ali, doesn’t do much to the overarching storyline, but of course, if you played the games, you'd probably enjoy her presence.

Without delving too much into spoilers, your primary and secondary antagonists are film original characters that act as sufficient foils to our main heroes.

Tom Holland - That spidey moves helped
Tom Holland - That spidey moves helped

If you like action-oriented films like Fast & Furious or Pirates of the Caribbean, then UNCHARTED will be an exciting ride for you. On top of that, if you have played all four mainline games, you'll appreciate many of the game references within the movie that may lead you to want more. If only I had a PlayStation controller in my hands and was controlling the younger Nathan Drake, playing out the events of this film.

UNCHARTED officially releases in Singapore theatres on 17 February 2022.

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