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'Uncharted' Had No Right Being As Good As It Was

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Today's episode of LCB was a weirdly video game-centric one, as we reviewed the Uncharted movie and went over the announcement of a Bioshock Movie and the fallout series casting. I have plenty of thoughts on Bioshock, but lets focus on 'Uncharted'. 

Treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan recruits street-smart Nathan Drake to help him recover a 500-year-old lost fortune amassed by explorer Ferdinand Magellan. What starts out as a heist soon becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Santiago Moncada can get his hands on it. If Sully and Nate can decipher the clues and solve one of the world's oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure -- but only if they can learn to work together.

As a fan of the video game franchise, I had mixed feeling about this going into it. On the one hand, the story of Nathan Drake is awesome. It has the feel of an Indiana Jones type adventure, the characters are awesome and the puzzle solving elements of it are a blast. On the other hand, the story was already told extremely well….by the video game. And those games each have like, 20ish hours of playtime where a movie gets 2.5 hours. I thought director Reuben Fleischer(Zombieland) was a great choice to direct, but I was't thrilled with the rest of the casting outside of Tom. Holland. Specifically Mark Wahlberg as Sully. 

Couple this hesitation with the early reviews for the movie being in the gutter, and I went into the movie with my expectations on the floor. Well, I gotta say, I really am surprised with how much I ended up liking it. 

Giphy Images.

I'll separate it into a quick, non-spoiler pros and cons list. 


- Tom Holland worked as a young Nathan Drake. He didn't have the full confidence yet of the grown character, but he captured that sense of adventure perfectly. 

-  The action rocked: Solid fight scenes, decent gunplay and a great use of Holland's absurd athleticism in chase scenes and other acrobatics

- The humor didn't always work, but I really enjoyed it when it did. It helped put a bandaid on some chemistry issues in the middle of the movie. 

- There are a few little nuggets for fans of the game, but nothing that detracted from the broader flow of the movie. They save Drake's theme for a great moment and it hits great. 


- Wahlberg was not a great Sully. That's not to say the character he was playing was bad, it just didn't feel like Sully. The age thing is obviously a huge factor there, but I just wish we got someone who felt more like Sully. His chemistry with Tom Holland was also…sketchy at best. 

- The movie has a villain problem. They didn't do a good job of establishing the big bads, so we ended up with more of a vague force of antagonists which took away from the movie a bit. 

- The movie falls into a lot of cliches establishing the characters early on, and I almost wished that they left more of it as a mystery. The game is all about solving puzzles anyway, let the audience get a level of immersion that you only get in games.  

- Sophia Taylor Ali was solid as Chloe, but didn't totally jump off the screen to me as a grittier badass like I saw her in the games. 

Overall, it was an imperfect, but undeniably entertaining movie. That is more than you can say for most video game adaptations! I landed on giving this movie a 69/100. You can hear Chris and I's thoughts below: