As video games continue to rise in popular culture, it's only natural that they should receive more film adaptations. Uncharted, which is one of the most popular franchises under the PlayStation brand, is very cinematic in its own right. Inspired by adventure films like Indiana Jones, the games are practically interactive movies themselves. For this, the ideal is to make a movie that appeals both to general audiences and to fans of the series. Uncharted is a movie that succeeds to a certain extent to the former and fails tremendously in the latter. The movie throws the canon of the games out the window, although it does directly adapt some scenes from the games. It takes the auction house scene from Uncharted 4, the plane scene from Uncharted 3, the whole arc with Sam from 4.
As an adventure movie, it's nothing special, but nothing too terrible. If you know nothing about the source material, you may even find yourself enjoying it. It's got some fun moments in it. It's got a heist at an auction house, ancient puzzles in a Gothic church, and plenty of action in the sky. Some of these action scenes really do capture the spirit of adventure movies, which is always great fun. While some of them are lifted right from the games, they do play out well for what they're worth. There are moments when the adventure spirit kicks in, and that is welcome. Ancient mysteries and action scenes are always fun. The main theme from the games appears, which was a nice addition.
As an adaptation of the games, it falls massively short. The casting is horrendous. Tom Holland is way too young to play Nathan Drake, as he lacks the suave personality that makes Drake who he is. Nathan's personality is completely absent in this character. Drake's movie personality feels more like MCU Spider-Man than the Nathan Drake in the games. This character on the screen is not Nathan Drake. Mark Wahlberg as Sully is an equally bad casting. While it's unlikely that anyone on this cast played the games, this is just Marky Mark, with no resemblance to Sully whatsoever. The lack of the moustache hurts, but there's nothing at all to signify that this is supposed to be Sully. Sully in the games is a classic "scoundrel with a heart of gold." This guy is just a scoundrel. Wahlberg is also way too young to play Sully. Chloe was probably the closest to being like the games, but that's not saying much. She at least looks the part, which is more than what the others have going for them. She does the classic double agent thing from the games as well, which is one of the few things they got right. Elena is not in it at all, which was disappointing. The villains were bland, nothing more to say about them, other than that they squandered Antonio Banderas (although in fairness, most of the villains in the games are bland too). There's also a really awesome cameo from Nolan North, which was probably the best scene in the entire movie.
If this movie wasn't connected at all to the Uncharted games, it would be a harmless action adventure movie that would have some similarities to the games, like how the games are inspired by adventure movies. By attaching it to the Uncharted franchise, it puts the expectation that it's going to be something like the games. While there are snippets of the games here and there, it's simply not enough. This does not feel like an Uncharted movie.
By the way, the PlayStation Studios logo, with Nathan Drake, Kratos and Atreus (boy), Jin Sakai, Joel and Ellie, Aloy, and Sackboy was awesome. I guess we'll be seeing that on the upcoming Last of Us and Ghost of Tsushima adaptations.