Uncharted is though unspectacular, a good way to meet Nathan Drake, the treasure seeker. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a pretty amusing preview of what Nate and Sully have to offer on the big screen, yet fans of the popular PlayStation games may be startled by how much has changed to fit an Uncharted tale in a single movie’s timeframe.
Experienced treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) hires Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) to find a fortune gathered by Ferdinand Magellan that the House of Moncada lost 500 years prior.
Some of the characteristics that make Sully stand out in the video game were lost in the translation to the big screen, despite Mark Wahlberg’s solid performance as a wisecracking mentor to Holland.
Sully is remembered for his thick mustache and dark, booming voice, both of which Wahlberg lacks. After all, they easily could have given Wahlberg a ‘stache like the one that little Sully wore in the video games.
When Mark Wahlberg wasn’t being Sully, he was just being Mark Wahlberg in an action movie.
However, the likable chemistry between Wahlberg and Holland, especially in the film’s most touching moments, makes it easier to overlook the film’s departures from the novel’s plot.
Just what I would hope for in a film adaptation of the Uncharted games, the cat-and-mouse storyline doesn’t take itself too seriously. In short, I never once felt the want to fast-forward through what was effectively a two-hour video game sequence (which I suppose is technically a movie anyhow). Although there aren’t many nods to the film’s video game roots, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy does a good job of recreating the environment of the game.
Nate, Sully, and Chloe engage in clever and, at times, technology-heavy conversation, which isn’t often seen in the games (for example, Nate makes fun of Sully for having Tinder on his phone). As they search for information, solve riddles, and tour the world, the group gets into a number of scraps, pursuit sequences, and booby traps. The plot is quite simple, but there were several enjoyable references that let me remember that I was seeing an Uncharted film.
Uncharted also differentiates itself from other generic heist flicks by focusing on its strong language and the comically immature manner in which Nate often responds to potentially lethal circumstances. Almost immediately into the film, Nate runs across fellow treasure seeker Moncada (Antonio Banderas), and the two have a charmingly comical back-and-forth. A general audience will enjoy these kinds of sequences, but fans of the games will appreciate how faithfully they capture Nathan Drake’s most endearing qualities.
As for the bad guys, they are easily forgotten. Although Tati Gabrielle’s character is intended to be an equal adversary from Sully’s past, she is given so little screen time that I had to look up her name (Braddock) after viewing the movie since I couldn’t remember it from the few brief remarks I had heard. None of the bad guys’ backstories build to anything exciting, and it’s not apparent why they want the large prize beyond basic greed. It’s ironic in a way, though, because despite the various villains in the Uncharted games, greed is ultimately what drives them.