Uncharted, an incredibly family-friendly adventure movie with no real sense of adventure, opens with an open-top cargo plane hanging from a chain of enormously heavy, cube-shaped shipping pallets. Tom Holland, with his spider-sense agility somehow now innate after all those webslinger appearances, nimbly jumps from one to another with gooey ease and a wide-eyed, geez demeanor. it’s a death-defying sequence that flaunts logic more suited to game controllers than a local multiplex. So it’s no surprise that Uncharted is a movie based on the hit PlayStation series developed by gaming company Naughty Dog. because players clearly thirst for passive experiences.
uncharted★★ (2/5 stars) directed by: ruben fleischer written by : rafe lee judkins, art marcum, matt holloway starring: tom holland, mark wahlberg, sophia ali, tati gabrielle, antonio banderas duration: 116 min
As cynically calculating as a burger king, this noisy nonsense is aiming for the salty, sweet and greasy feel of healthy treasure map excitement, but you don’t want to gain your calories on meat-and-potato heavy staples. like good storytelling or emotionally intriguing characters. I’ll leave that to the pixar pointdexters. Uncharted aims for Indiana-Jones euphoria, but falls into Pitfall!-level banality: cheap thrills on a swanky studio budget. Which means this klugey action draws on star power for its few charms: Holland and Wahlberg prove that the most effective special effects are affable leads who cut through all the visual bombast.
The Uncharted series of video games follows the merry fortune hunter continent-hopping Nathan Drake through various perils as he (or, should I say, the player) deciphers clues and solves mysteries with mentor Victor Sullivan and the daring and Sexy Buddy Chloe Frazer. so does this cinematic iteration, which relies on brisk leaps of illogic, as well as what gamers would call “teamwork-based objectives” to keep the story moving.
The plot features some backstory stakes for Nathan (Holland), who grew up in a Boston orphanage with older brother Sam (Rudy Pankow), a bad boy. Her brother told Nathan that they were descendants of Sir Francis Drake, with “pirate blood” in their veins, and that Magellan’s historic circumnavigation voyage was really just a cover for a serious search for gold. He then gets into trouble with the nuns who run the orphanage and runs away, dooming Nathan to a life of loneliness and a series of postcards that the lazy brother sends erratically from a litany of global tourist traps.
Now Nathan, a bartender hanging around a posh Manhattan bar, juggling bottles and pocketing diamond bracelets from unsuspecting trust fund wits until Victor (Wahlberg) suddenly shows up and introduces himself. He offers Nathan the chance to track down that Magellan’s Gold, and possibly even find his long-lost brother Sam.
The key to this illicit adventure is literally a key, namely an early 16th century gold and ruby crucifix that also secretly functions as a key. it also has a double, by the way, another ancient artifact that must be used in conjunction with the first. The meeting of two keys involves crashing a Tony auction house and infuriating Santiago Mancada (Antonio Banderas), an infamous scion of a wealthy Spanish dynasty. “Our fortune is bathed in blood,” the patriarch mocks his son, even as Santiago embraces his dark past. The Black Sheep naturally has minions, including a beefy Scotsman with a thick Haggis accent, plus a sleek and sexy villainous mercenary named Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle).
they all want that magellan jewel, worth up to $5 billion, insists a baseless speculating victor, and the wild goose chase takes them through cobwebbed underground tunnels in barcelona and forgotten caves in las indias Orientals. it also means they traverse cathedral cellars, destroy 2,000-year-old Roman artifacts, and literally airlift 16th-century Spanish sailing ships that remarkably don’t disintegrate, even when repeatedly crashing into rocky cliffs and into each other.
those two crucifix keys? they seem to pick all the hidden locks everywhere, by the way, including one at a local papa john’s, where a few fisticuffs and intense property damage don’t even elicit reactions from a single local cop. Ditto for a sweaty underground nightclub where the owners don’t seem to mind when Holland sets fire to some booze and sticks his key into a random antique wall. that’s a pretty solid locksmith by the way.
Uncharted revels in its own dangerous pablum and false realities, all of which lack any sense of real danger, any sense of gravitational pull, any sense of chaos. the entire company gives off a giddy vibe of safety net banal fun that is overwhelmingly underwhelming.