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Tom Holland still has his Spider abilities when playing Nathan Drake in the live action adaptation of the video game Uncharted and it doesn’t help make this film exciting. He’s still Peter Parker at heart and unless he can play against typecast, it’ll be difficult to see him play anything else.
Fandom has forgotten about the fan-film with Nathan Fillion as the lead. The screenplay by Rafe Lee Judkins, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway acknowledges the game in a way which I don’t recall from the games and it just feels odd. The cinematic take considers how maps can point to treasure and quite often, that’s not the case. It can lead to disaster, or perhaps to landing in Davy Jone’s Locker. In this movie’s case, it’s about setting up Nathan (Holland) and Victor Sullivan’s (Mark Wahlberg) relationship and how it’d play out when they’re in the field. These two aren’t exactly perfect for each other.
Here, Drake leaves his bartending life behind after Sullivan convinces him he’s a friend of his brother’s. Perhaps that’s for the best, since he pickpockets from his clients and presumedly sells them off at a pawn shop to survive. Back when the siblings were together, they broke into a museum, talk about the Magellan expedition and then get caught. Though returned to the orphanage, the elder decided it was time to leave for good. He promised to be back. While this backstory differs from the games, I can’t help but wonder what else changed.
Holland has many years before turning into the hardened character gamers know him for.
This franchise rarely deals with the mystic, and thankfully sticks to the pulps in a modern setting. The only sense of discovery is when the treasure is found, but we hear little about who’ll spend it. Instead, everything sounds like it’ll be melted down for its value.
The two are racing against Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) and Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) to find the “lost” treasure of the Magellan expedition. Moncada is a last descendent of the family who funded that trip; he believes he has ownership, while others disagree. There are other pirates ready to steal and sell in the black market and Jo is perfect to lead her crew with an angry Scotsman who steals the movie from everybody else. This underutilised character is the only highlight than the attempt to recreate the excitement from the games. Sadly, the best bit was spoiled by the trailer, and the full length version didn’t add much to it. It mostly gave us a crazy extension of a similar version from the big screen version of The A-Team.
Instead, the investment crafted by the introduction is wasted. Nate looks up to his big brother and the tale doesn’t go very far with it. They come from an interesting lineage, and not a lot could be said, including what happened to their parents.
Sam Drake (Rudy Pankow) will be found, should another film get made. He might have left clues about his whereabouts on the postcards he sent. In the post-credits sequence, the dangling plot gets revisited, and it’ll have to be addressed. To build a sequel without this reference will be a death sentence for this potential expansion of a franchise. Right now, it’s no better than the Tomb Raider reboot, and I’m still waiting for news about where that other franchise is going.
3 Stars out of 5