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REVIEW: Uncharted Is an Adventure Worthy of All the Treasure It Seeks

4/5 hidden ships

Tom Holland and Mark Wahlburg standing on a plane in Uncharted

When it comes to video games turned movies, they have a pretty bad track record. There have been very few who have made anyone really happy but Uncharted manages to bring us into the fold of Nathan Drake’s story in a new and exciting turn while still having that video game feel in the best possible way.

It’s not perfect and there are moments where the movie lags but not even Mark Wahlberg could stop me from having fun while watching Tom Holland come into his own in this take on Nathan Drake’s origin story.

**Slight spoilers for the film Uncharted lie ahead**

Tom Holland plays Nathan Drake, an explorer who pairs his love of history and adventure with a thirst for the unknown thanks to his brother Sam. While Nathan was left at the orphanage after his brother was kicked out, he kept all the postcard correspondence that Sam had sent him throughout the last 15 years while still wearing his brother’s ring around his neck. All of this to establish that Nathan Drake cares about one person and it is his brother.

All of this is just to set up why Nathan even takes an interest in what Sully (played by Mark Wahlberg) has to offer. Drake is a bartender who lives off of stealing small things like a bracelet off some woman who came to the bar. Sully comes to see him, slips him his card (and steals the bracelet off of Nathan) and waits for Nathan to come and find him.

Their relationship starts with Sully using Nathan for his knowledge and what he thinks he knows thanks to his brother but he’s leaving information out so that Nathan will keep playing along with him. This constant struggle of not trusting anyone goes throughout the movie and there are times when it gets annoying because it is every character who doesn’t trust someone else but it does lead to a pretty shocking twist in the third act with Tati Gabrielle’s Braddock.

Trust no one

While Uncharted is a high stakes action movie, it also has moments where you care about these characters. Nathan Drake is someone who grew up without his parents and only had his brother to look up to. Well, and the nuns of the orphanage where he lived. Something that the movie references multiple times, especially when Nathan has to go into a church with Sully and Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) and is afraid of a nun. Showing us that Nathan’s trauma from his childhood is still there under the surface even if he’s not the type to voice it.

But what the movie really sets up is Nathan’s understanding of how the game works and how his relationship with Sully grows because of it. Every person who meets him when he’s with Sully tells him not to trust him but even when they’re on their first mission together, we can see Sully protecting Nathan.

Nathan doesn’t know where his brother is or if he’s alive still but we know throughout the movie that Sully both wanted Nathan to think he had seen him recently for his own benefit but also to protect Nate.

Jam-packed action

We know from the trailer that the cargo scene from the game happened and it’s a bit different this time around. Sully and Nathan are hiding in a car but when Nathan confronts Braddock and ends up having to fall out of a plane without a parachute (because, you know, a CAR hits him).

The thing is: This movie is absolutely outrageous but in a way that works. You’re rooting for Nathan even though you know he’s probably going to figure it out and you end up cheering when he puts on the gun holster for the first time. It’s the kind of movie you’d want out of the Uncharted world and it is fun to see Tom Holland shine doing fun stunts and bringing an iconic character like Nathan Drake to life.

Tati Gabrielle, Sophia Ali, Antonio Banderas, Mark Wahlberg, and Tom Holland bring the world of Uncharted to us in a new and exciting way and if this is the next big franchise for Holland, I wouldn’t be mad about it. Even if he did go full Peter Parker and apologize to a man plummeting to his death during that cargo scene.

(image: Sony)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.