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‘Uncharted’: the perfect movie of a video game

Uncharted is a 2022 film based on the video game franchise of the same name which is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.

Starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, this movie had great financial backing and unlike most movies based on video games, this movie was successful at the box office and a great film.

‘Uncharted’ – Official Trailer

What many thought would be another failed attempt at a video game movie ended up being one of the most successful movies of the year so far, generating 300 million dollars at the global box office according to Forbes.

There is no doubt that the superstar cast of the film had something to do with the movie’s box office success but we have seen many movies with great casts flop at the box office.

What made this movie so successful unlike other video game movies is that it manages to capture the heart of the video game. This was critical for the fans and is essentially what made Uncharted so financially successful.

The Uncharted title card alongside the physical copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
The Uncharted title card alongside the physical copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted is a great film from beginning to end and feels as a prequel to the video game series due to the tone, action, stunts and performances.

Tom Holland does an unbelievable job playing a young Nathan Drake, capturing his charm and re-creating his classic catchphrases for the big screen. Mark Wahlberg does the same as a young Victor Sullivan as both actors look as though they were ripped straight out of the video game.

However, it is Sophia Ali playing a young Chloe Frazer who steals the show by adding new dimensions to the side character. We got a further insight into the relationship between Frazer and Drake we had never seen in the games before.

Director Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame also does a terrific job with his direction making it feel as if we are watching cutscenes from the game. Whether it’s the re-creation of the famous cargo plane scene from the third game or the chase scene in Barcelona, it feels as if this movie takes place in the game’s universe.

Plane Scene comparison between the game and movie with two PS5 controllers.
Plane Scene comparison between the game and movie with two PS5 controllers

Whether it is the performances or the direction, Uncharted does what most video game movies fail to do and pays respect to the source material.

This is never more apparent than in the movie’s flashback scene where a young Nathan Drake and his brother Sam break into a house to see a map to the movie’s treasure. This scene looks and feels as if it was ripped out of the flashbacks we see in the final Uncharted game, ‘A Thiefs End’, which for me was the highlight of the film.

This movie isn’t perfect though, Antonio Banderas as Santiago Moncada is under-utilised as the film’s main antagonist and there are some glaring issues with the plot of the movie.

However this movie isn’t trying to win an Oscar and is great for what it is, a fun action-adventure movie which is a prequel to Uncharted: Drakes Fortune.

It is able to capture the heart of the games as well as pay respect to them which will please Uncharted fans, who are sure to feel goosebumps when they hear the game’s original theme in the movie’s final actions set piece.

This is never more clear than the great cameo towards the end of the film from the original Nathan Drake, Nolan North.

In the end, this is a great movie for people wanting a fun Hollywood blockbuster with action, romance, and comedy that will have even the most hardcore Uncharted fans smiling from ear to ear.