Uncharted (English) Review 3.0/5 & Review Rating
UNCHARTED is the story of two men trying to find lost treasure. The film begins 15 years ago. Nathan aka Nate is a child and his older brother is Sam Drake. They both try to steal a map of the Magellan Expedition. However, they are caught in the act. However, Sam escapes and promises Nate that he will find him. In contemporary New York, Nate (Tom Holland) works as a bartender and even unsuspectingly steals valuables from wealthy patrons. One day he meets Victor Sullivan aka Sully (Mark Wahlberg) at the bar. Sully is a treasure hunter and has worked with Sam on an expedition in the past. Sully claims that Sam ghosted him after they both stole a valuable journal. Because of the Sam connection, Nate agrees when Sully asks him for help – to find the Magellan treasure. According to the legend and the contents of the diary, the treasure is hidden in a place locked with the help of two keys. Sam already has a key. The other key is to be auctioned in New York. Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) is looking forward to winning this key at auction. His family funded the Magellan Expedition. Therefore, he feels that the treasure that Magellan hid belongs to him. He is assisted by Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), a ruthless mercenary. Sully plans to steal the key from the auction house with the help of Nate. The duo team up and manage to pull off the theft. At one point Nate almost gets caught and Sully simply escapes as he had been given the key without trying to help Nate. This makes Nate realize that Sully cannot be trusted. Despite this, they travel to Barcelona, Spain, as that is where the treasure is said to be hidden. Here they meet Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali). Sully here learns that Chloe is the one who has the other key. She, too, warns him that Sully is untrustworthy. Meanwhile, Moncada arrives in Barcelona, determined to find the treasure at any cost. According to the diary, the treasure is hidden under a pine tree. Sully is surprised because there are so many pine trees in Barcelona. However, Nate correctly guesses that the treasure is not under any tree, but in the church of St. Mary of the Pine. They enter the sacred place and find an underground passage that will hopefully lead to the treasure. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
UNCHARTED is based on the video game of the same name. From Rafe Lee Judkins, Jon Hanley Rosenberg and Mark D. Walker, the story skillfully blends entertainment and adventure. The script, written by Rafe Lee Judkins, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, is simple and full of funny and exciting moments. The chemistry between the main male characters is also well developed. However, many developments defy all logic. Besides, it’s a bhel puri of several films in this genre. Dialogues are simple and funny at some points.
Ruben Fleischer’s directing is first class and does the written material justice. Several such adventure films can sometimes be too fast paced. However, UNCHARTED is an exception. The director allows the narrative to grow organically. Still, the film doesn’t seem to drag and packs a lot into 117 minutes. While the movie will keep viewers entertained, it will also give them a déjà vu from movies like RED NOTICE, INDIANA JONES, FAST & FURIOUS, NATIONAL TREASURE, etc. Raw deal in the second half will be unacceptable for many.
UNCHARTED begins on an exciting and unexpected note and sets the mood. The flashback part begins in a non-dramatic way. However, the auction house sequence creates a mood. The chase in Barcelona is entertaining. The scene where the trio enters the church is quite lengthy and is a compelling part of the film. The twist in the middle might be predictable for many. Still, looking forward to what happens next. The mid-air drama is insane. The finale is predictable again, but the way things unfold makes it worth watching. The film ends with the promise of a sequel.
Tom Holland slips effortlessly into the role of Nate. You can forget his iconic role as Spider-Man and that’s a huge win. Mark Wahlberg plays a role that would be reminiscent of Ryan Reynolds. However, he brings his own style and touch and it works. Sophia Ali performs confidently. She deserved more screen time. Tati Gabrielle is great as the badass antagonist. Antonio Banderas is decent, but his role seems a bit caricatured.
Ramin Djawadi’s music is nothing extraordinary. Chung-hoon Chung’s cinematography is great and the aerial shots in particular are very well done. Shepherd Frankel’s production design is rich. Especially the underground church set is great. Anthony Franco and Marlene Stewart’s costumes are appealing. Action increases the fun and does not require any gore at all. As expected, the VFX is stunning. Editing by Chris Lebenzon and Richard Pearson is sophisticated.
Overall, UNCHARTED is an enjoyable masala entertainer. It has received wide release as it has taken advantage of the lack of other films hitting theaters this week. It has a chance to score at the box office due to its mass appeal and the cast of Tom Holland.