The Uncharted Playstation games following the adventures of a swashbuckling treasure hunter have always been hailed for their cinematic appeal. It was only a matter of time, then, before talk of a film adaptation became real. Nathan Drake has a lot to live up to following the likes of Indiana Jones, The Mummy and even the less well-received but fun National Treasure and Lara Croft movies. Nevertheless, there’s certainly a gap in the movie market for a fresh take on such globe-trotting quests for ancient gold and historical artefacts that probably belong in a museum.
Surely, the only real hump to get over was the curse of the video game adaptation, but with the right leading man the blockbuster visuals of the Uncharted series could carry it through right? Possibly, but if only they’d cast the right guy to play Nathan Drake.
Don’t get me wrong, Tom Holland is an appealing movie star who can carry a franchise; proven by his action prowess and charm even just a few weeks ago in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
However, he’s just not the right fit for the Playstation action hero, who was based on a cross between Jackass stunt legend Johnny Knoxville and Harrison Ford himself. This should be a Chris Pratt or a Bradley Cooper, a beefer and older hunk who’s at least in his early-to-mid thirties.
Yet when Tom Holland pitched a young James Bond movie to Sony, the studio thought their bankable star could lead a new franchise in an Uncharted prequel of sorts. No doubt assuming the Spider-Man actor could be playing the role for years to come.
The problem is, however, that Holland really is just miscast and can’t quite decide if he’s still playing the awkward geeky Peter Parker or the confident and assertive Drake.
Like the games, the Uncharted movie sees him team up with Victor “Sully” Sullivan, played by Mark Wahlberg as they follow clues to find a great treasure.
The banter between the young swashbuckler and his con artist mentor provides plenty of wisecracks, although the lacklustre script saw only the mildest of titters land from the audience.
At times the dialogue is painfully cheesy too, with one scene having Nate pretending to be a pirate at the wheel of a ship as Sully shouts something along the lines of “Alright there, Jack Sparrow?”
It’s easy to dismiss, but if the box office isn’t too low to not warrant a sequel, here’s hoping they give it another go as treasure hunting movies can be and should be really enjoyable.
But next time, give it to a James Gunn or another writer-director with more of a comic edge and clear vision to deliver something incredibly entertaining.
And with a few years having gone by, hopefully, Holland will be much nearer the right age to play Nate.
Uncharted is out now in UK cinemas and open in US movie theatres on February 18, 2022.