Uncharted, Or What If National Treasure Was About An Orphan Searching for Pirates’ Booty

The Stream: A weak story and very annoying villain.

The Big Screen: Cool stunts and a charming Tom Holland.

The Final Bill: The fun and energetic spectacle makes up for what it lacks in story and innovation.

– Trip Fontaine
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writers: Rafe Judkins (screenplay by), Art Marcum (screenplay by), Matt Holloway (screenplay by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour 49 minutes
Production Companies: Columbia Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Arad Productions
Platform: Released in theaters February 18, 2022

Let’s go, Streamers! Winter gets us antsy. It’s time to get out of the house and see the world. If seeing the world isn’t really possible, then at least, we can take in a globe-hopping action-adventure movie. Lucky for us, Uncharted opened in theaters this weekend. It’s that movie that’s been hyping Tom Holland falling out of an airplane parachute-less! Let’s go!! Anyway, I was at the theater, and here’s whether Uncharted scratched my travel itch.

Uncharted, apparently, is based on a video game series of the same name. Who knew? The movie is about an orphaned young man, Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), who goes on an expedition to find the lost treasure of Magellan. Nathan’s brother, Sam, left him in an orphanage when he was about 10 years old and filled him with the lore of Magellan’s treasure and how they were descendants of Sir Francis Drake. Fifteen years later, Nathan encounters Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), a former cohort of Sam’s, who wants to recruit Nathan to assist him in finding Magellan’s lost treasure. Nathan goes along for the ride; and, so do we! Treasure hunting, double-crosses and stunts ensue.

Essentially, Uncharted is a scavenger hunt, National-Treasure-esque movie. The biggest differences are that the treasure hunt is definitely more international and, with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in starring roles, there are a lot more stunts of an acrobatic nature here. These are the things that work for the movie. The characters traveling to Barcelona and other parts of the world is interesting. The production team does a good job creating the locations, which adds to the spectacle of the actual hunt for Magellan’s treasure. It’s all very Indiana-Jones-lite. Also, Tom Holland seems to be having a great time. He’s jumping all over things and kicking butt – it’s like if Spider-man were a regular twentysomething just doing parkour. Mark Wahlberg is a good foil for Holland. They have decent chemistry and the banter between them works. Well, sometimes it does get a little tiresome, but for the most part, it’s fine.

What doesn’t work for Uncharted is that the villain(s) is both annoying and not good enough to be interesting; and then, the story is weak. As for the story about the brother leaving the orphanage, there is so little done with it and a lot of open questions that it might as well have been left off altogether; but, I smell a franchise brewing. Ugh! In fact, it’s not really important to the overall plot and it doesn’t hit emotionally enough to be interesting. As for the villain(s) *eye roll*, I won’t say much, so I don’t spoil anything, but these movies always have double crosses and they always have some dumb henchman to get beat up and killed all over the place. It’s so boring and unimaginative. I was in for the treasure hunt, which if complicated enough, a villain isn’t even necessary.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, Uncharted is a fun movie. If you like treasure hunts and international travel, then you should be on board. There are good stunts and Tom Holland is a charming star. It’s not as funny as it could be and the villain is a waste; but what the movie does right is enough to make it worth a seeing in a theater. The scene with the airplane is great on the big screen. This is a solid matinee movie with a bowl of popcorn.