GwiGwi.com – UNCHARTED is an adaptation of the PlayStation game of the same name and I’ve played the game… Some (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End) and watched the full walkthrough of the spin off (Uncharted: The Lost Legacy). I also watched the anniversary twice where the cast of the game reunited. Yeah, I’m a bit familiar with this franchise. The question is, should the film be compared to the game? It’s hard if you don’t. Apart from being the original material, Uncharted is also famous for its effective use of cinematic rules in its games. You could call it an interactive action film.
When the game really tries to be a movie, what about the movie, which is a movie and not a game?
If the Uncharted game franchise manages to refresh the treasure-seeking adventure genre to the present day containing thrilling adventures and touching moments, the film makes the classic genre mediocre, almost lifeless and adventure almost without tension.
Nathan Drake (Tiernan Jones) separated from his older brother, Sam (Rudy Pankow) at an orphanage. Both are treasure and history buffs. Years later, Nathan or Nate (Tom Holland) meets a treasure seeker, Victor Sullivan or Sully (Mark Wahlberg). He invites Nate to find Magellan’s lost treasure. Although initially refused, the premise of reuniting with his brother makes Nate decide to go on an adventure.
The film opens, like some of the games, with Nate in a dangerous situation. When he woke up from his stupor, his leg got stuck in the cargo hold of the plane waving in the wind, hanging from the plane. Immediately, the action set piece is big and you can see one of the big problems of this film, CGI.
Unlike the Mission Impossible film where Tom Cruise tries his stunts in as realistic a situation as possible (climbing the Burj Al Arab, the plane door handle that takes off and the HALO jump) this is definitely not that even though his intention seems to be that. I’m pretty sure Tom Holland actually jumps and wrestles on his own in some scenes, but each scene is cut and we see a very clear CGI background. The tension level was drastically reduced. Real deal breaker.
Quite fatal because this big action sequence is one of the trademarks of the UNCHARTED game franchise. Put players in those situations for action, star in big action movies and feel the tension right away. The film is less than optimal in capturing it. Fortunately, the action in the climax scene is still okay even though the CG problem is still there. In smaller scale fistfights, the editing is choppy.
When wrestling is fun and the choreography is okay, the cutting is a bit annoying. Not as fluid as John Wick’s example. Suddenly cut close ups or jumping (characters in position A, in the next shot in position B) It’s difficult to be like a game where the action can continue in long takes without interruption, but this editing style is not able to convey tension and attraction more smoothly .
The action may be lacking, then what about the other charm of UNCHARTED, namely the character that makes the franchise survive and be loved by fans? Unfortunately, Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg feel miscast. They can deliver cute lines and sparks of charisma but have a hard time connecting with them emotionally. Because his mouth was speaking dialogue, his eyes were fixed on something, as if his mind was somewhere else. This disconnected impression makes the emotional scene tasteless. Plus, a lot of dialogue is delivered flatly like reading a script.
Knowing how charismatic, lovable, energetic, and likeable the characters in the game are this is truly a massive blow. Imagine if in IRON MAN (2008) they cast Tony Stark wrongly. It could be that the MCU is already struggling and early and not as big as it is now.
In general, in terms of execution, UNCHARTED film has many shortcomings; the lighting is like a medium budget action film even though the film costs 120 million dollars, the editing, acting, the score is mediocre and forgettable – if it’s far from the score in the game. It doesn’t feel like a big adventure – blocking stiff chat scenes and choosing an angle shot that doesn’t maximize the scene. Seeing all this, is this film not only a miscast but also a misdirector?
It feels like that because under his messy execution, the story is okay, although it’s a bit mellow for Nate’s motivation. The set pieces for the action are interesting, the dialogues are funny, the idea is to fluctuate the chemistry of the characters, and the twists, even for those who have played the game like me, are surprising and fun.
Again and again the adaptation of the game to the film seems to never get satisfactory results. Maybe someone thought that after watching UNCHARTED. But I remember often the animation of CASTLEVANIA and ARCANE on Netflix which is also a game adaptation, got a good reception. Actually, don’t just look at game adaptations. The lack of good sword and sorcery fantasy films after the Lord of The Rings trilogy and many superhero films are not as warmly welcomed as Marvel films.
Seeing these examples makes you think, maybe it’s not the game’s fault but the player’s fault?
Lots of curse words and alcohol. I don’t think this is a PG-13 movie that fits…