Uncharted review

Cassidy Lovell, Arts & Entertainment Editor

This review contains spoilers.

If you’re considering whether to watch the new Uncharted movie, you should probably save your money.

Uncharted is a series of action-adventure video games developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. One of the most iconic and best-selling PlayStation franchises, Uncharted follows the adventures of Nathan Drake as he searches for knowledge and treasure.

I’ve played all of the Uncharted games, and I’m a fan. So when I heard about the film, I was both excited and worried– will it live up to its potential? The answer is, unfortunately, no.

Before seeing the film, I had qualms about the casting. Tom Holland, known for his role as Spider-Man, stars as Nathan Drake. Mark Wahlberg plays Victor “Sully” Sullivan and Sophia Taylor Ali is Chloe Frazer. Compared to their video game counterparts, the casting wasn’t accurate.

In a previously released fan film, Nathan Fillion captured the appearance and behaviors of Nathan well. Holland doesn’t. Holland’s Spider-Man is a nerdy, naive, awkward high school student. Nathan Drake in the games is a charming, sarcastic, self-assured treasure hunter. Holland playing Nathan Drake like he was still Spider-Man made it difficult to watch. In one scene, he even lands in his signature superhero pose.

Wahlberg is great. When Nathan and Chloe are drowning in the underground crypts, Sully’s intentionally comedic line about being unable to assist as he is “literally in a Pizza Hut right now” was the most memorable part of the entire movie. He carried the weight of this film, and I’m glad for his part.

By contrast, Sophia Taylor Ali didn’t capture the essence of Chloe. Paired with Holland’s performance, their romance felt forced and uncomfortable.

The film failed in many ways: rearranging plot lines of the games, noticeable green screen, and disagreeable casting. It showed complete disregard for “suspension of disbelief.”

Oxford Dictionaries defines the suspension of disbelief as “the intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something unreal or impossible in reality, such as a work of speculative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment.”

In other words – how much can the story get away with before it becomes unbelievable?

When helicopters pick up and battle with two ancient pirate ships carrying thousands of pounds of gold, and those two ships should’ve had the expected structural integrity of a triscuit cracker, it’s just hard to believe.

Another scene in the credits really solidified this– a shot from behind Nathan allows the audience to see his necklace around Gage’s (Pilou Asbaek) neck, only for it to appear in Nathan’s hands the next shot. Did he zoom across the room, remove the necklace, and go back to the door in the blink of an eye? The stunts and the action looked cool, but were so entirely unbelievable.

Uncharted is an example of how success is not always easily translated among mediums. Games and movies use different levels of suspension of disbelief, and adaptation needs to be done carefully. What works in a video game doesn’t always work in a film, and it certainly didn’t work for Uncharted.

A post-credits scene sets the franchise up for a sequel, but based on the poor reviews, I’m not sure it’ll make it. And if it does, I’m not sure anyone else will see it. I probably won’t.

For those unfamiliar with the video game, Uncharted is a decent treasure-hunting movie. For fans of the game, Uncharted is a frustrating letdown.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos