Videogame properties being expanded to other mediums such as TV and film have historically only ever ended badly with the films ranging from downright awful to mediocre. However, given the recent success of various adaptions such as The Witcher and Arcane TV series’ along with the commercial success of the Sonic The Hedgehog movie things are beginning to look up for the blending of the two genres. Coming from director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Venom, Superstore), Uncharted had been the talk amongst quite a few videogame fans, whether it was the debate surrounding its casting choices or whether the adaption would live up to the phenomenal storytelling of the game series the film certainly had a lot to prove.
To many fans who had viewed the trailers for the film and engaged with the source material they would have been expecting large dynamic action sequences and I’m happy to say that Uncharted doesn’t fail to provide in that regard. The stunt choreography along with the set pieces themselves feel ripped straight out of the games with the film opting, for the most part, to stick to hand-to-hand combat sequences as opposed to some of the games run and gun approaches to encounters. Needless to say, the spectacle from all of the fight scenes is immense and I always looked forward to the next one.
Fans of the game will also appreciate the film's score as at times it draws direct inspiration from that of the games with the familiar ‘Nate’s Theme’ featuring in a number of scenes. This may be a byproduct of Sony producing the film and already owning the rights to the musical material from the games but this approach to musical composition could benefit a lot of video game film adaptions. Besides those nods to musical composition, there are definitely a few easter eggs relating to the games that aren’t related to the films full plot that fans will enjoy.
It’ll be obvious to most that the star-studded cast of this film brings invigorating and believable performances to the characters. Tom Holland (Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Impossible, Chaos Walking) and Mark Wahlberg (Boardwalk Empire, The Fighter, Ted) do a great job as both Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan. Supporting actors Sophia Taylor Ali (Chloe Frazer) and Tati Gabrielle (Braddock) also add a lot to the overall film.
Despite the film being a good video game adaption once you take away the title of Uncharted the film can feel very generic and doesn’t do much in the way of adding anything new to the action-adventure genre. Whilst I have this as a con it highly depends on your own perspective. The film is definitely a fun watch but if you’re looking for something to really blow you away and aren’t a fan of the Uncharted series this may not be for you.
The unfortunate dilemma for a reinvention of a 4/5 part game series is that the writers have to restructure a lot of material into a 2-hour runtime. The overall product of Uncharted is really fun but the pacing of scenes can at times feel very uneven. Not to mention the number of condensed elements attempting to be told in this film can leave some characters feeling underdeveloped.
Despite those few issues with Uncharted I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my viewing of Uncharted. It was a fun break from the every day and left me hopeful for the upwards quality of video game adaptions.
If you’d like to discuss Uncharted with me a little bit more and talk some spoilers, you can do so over on my Twitter @OdhranJohnson! If you’re interested in indie based games news, reviews and more you can check me and the team at Gaming Sandbox out over on gaming-sandbox.com.
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