Uncharted Undignified



Uncharted (2022) released in theaters on February 18, 2022.

The movie adaptation of the best selling video game series Uncharted, made by Naughty Dog, was released in theaters on Feb. 18, 2022. Uncharted was highly anticipated by fans when word came out about its initial production. But, as more information started to be released, I found myself questioning the quality of this film.

Right from the start, seeing a cast of Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg playing the stories two main characters, Nathan and Sully, left me curious.

“There is this kind of pressure when you’re playing a true story, especially if there was some sort of tragic event. These diehard fans that are, you know, gamers, people who are into comics and that stuff. I mean, they will hunt you down. If you don’t get it right, you’re in big, big trouble. So we were always aware of that. We wanted to really honor them,” Wahlberg, in an interview with Screenrant, said.

It is recognized that the film crew did try to recreate certain scenes to the best of their ability while trying to follow the storyline, but they missed out on major plot points.

“We also wanted to figure out, because the game itself is so cinematic and so story-driven, how do we then also introduce this to people who aren’t familiar with Uncharted, and still make it a movie that’s accessible to the entire family?” Wahlberg said.

That seems to be one of the top problems of this film. The production team was thinking too much about how to make this a family movie, and not thinking about doing the best they can to replicate the game. This is especially prevalent in the cargo plane scene.

The movie seems to be centered around the big cargo plane sequence. They give us a sneak peak of the scene at the beginning of the movie and the rest of the film seems to build up to this one butchered scene from the original version in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The movie missed out on major points from the original scene like Nathan jumping onto a moving plane’s wheel and getting pulled into the plane while it is ascending into the air. One minor fault is the fact that in the game, the cargo plane is flying over the desert where in the movie it is flying over the ocean. It’s minor changes like these that make the movie less desirable than fans would like to have seen.

In 2018, director Allan Ungar released a short film based on the plot of the Uncharted video game. This film starred actors Nathan Fillion and Stephen Lang playing the iconic character duo, Nathan and Sully. This film had a very positive response among journalists, fans, and even Vice President of Naughty Dog and director/writer of the Uncharted games, Neil Druckmann. The film perfectly captures the essence of the game series while providing a dead on character portrayal. In its first two days of release, it hit over two million views with fans campaigning for Netflix or YouTube to turn it into a digital series.

It seems outrageous that a fan-made production can produce more positive feedback and a better overall remake of the game in contrast to an official Columbia Pictures production starring two award winning actors.

One of the movie’s greatest faults is the design of Wahlberg’s character. Not only does he not match the original look of Sully, he rarely hits the classic remarks and quips of the original character’s main quality. Sully is a man in his mid 60s sporting graying hair and a chevron mustache. Wahlberg does not give us this iconic look. Barely hitting 50 years old, he has a full head of brown hair and no mustache until the post credit scene. Changing the look of this character in the movie would have changed my opinion on the whole film.

The movies only raw, redeeming qualities seemed to be Nolan North’s cameo, North being the voice of Nathan Drake in the video game. Along with Wahlberg’s character look in the end credit scene and Neil Druckmann as an executive producer.

This is not the movie we deserve. Five out of 10.