Exploring Uncharted

By Giovanni Ramirez

Every day in a board room somewhere in the world the pitch is made to turn a popular video game or video game franchise into a movie. Sometimes it happens in the opposite direction. Sometimes it’s the third time this particular event has happened for the same franchise (Resident Evil has had a lot of activity). Most recently the game turned movie in question is none other than Uncharted.

Before I get into anything about the movie, I want to talk about the game(s). I always like to give background, and in this case there’s a touch more complexity. The Uncharted games primarily follow Nathan Drake, treasure hunter and history buff, and his mentor/father figure Victor “Sully” Sullivan, treasure hunter and resident attractive old man, as they travel the world raiding historical sites for fame and fortune. The first game, what I assume to be the primary inspiration for the movie, follows Nathan as he searches for El Dorado, which according to the game is a golden statue as opposed to a golden city or an alien ship docked in a native American temple (Indiana Jones time). Along the way Nathan fights pirates, cannibals, and explores an abandoned conquistador colony. In the end Nathan and his group of friends abandon the statue of el dorado in exchange for a greater treasure, friendship, and several chests of treasure.

Now we are ready for some movie plot. The movie follows a young New York bartender Nathan Drake with a knack for kleptomaniac behavior, as he is recruited by a dishonorably discharged Mark Wahlberg (Sully but not as attractive) to steal a key to a treasure supposedly taken from all over the world by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew. At this point it’s important to remember that no matter how realistic this movie may seem, you must suspend your belief, Ferdinand Magellan may have robbed and stolen as they did back in the day, but the amount described in this movie is ridonkulous. Additionally, you must try very hard to suspend your belief that Mark Wahlberg is Mark Wahlberg, although he does absolutely nothing to attempt to convince you that he is playing a character and not just on the set of this movie, it’s imperative for an immersive viewing experience. Sound good? Very cool, now back to it. Nathan and Mark (I mean Sully) proceed to follow the clues left behind by the crew of Magellan’s ship to find where his treasure is. Going from engineering marvels of roman design in Spain to very much charted islands in Southeast Asia. Following some action-packed helicopter-boat fights the movie resolves with Nathan and Sully (it’s totally just Mark Wahlberg) leaving with a greater treasure than hundreds of pounds of gold, friendship, and several pounds of gold. And boom, Hollywood blockbuster.

What kind of review is this you’re just giving me the summary of the movie? Hey dude, I’m getting there, patience is a virtue, or so I’ve been told. So, what makes this movie special? At certain points the movie absolutely captures the feeling of a video game. Whether it be the wild dive to grab onto a random crate while skydiving without a parachute or the superhuman reflex movements of a fight scene, it just provides the proper vibe. The puzzle solving feels very National Treasure, which is a plus. And for the people who know the games, the movie is chock full of references to snip out.

Do I Uncharted worth a watch? When it comes to video game movies that sell as regular movies a choice like Prince of Persia might be the way to go. If you want a video game movie that feels like a video game, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City might be the move. But if you’re looking for something in the middle, touch of game but touch of your casual run of the mill movie, then Uncharted might just be the movie for you. 

Little note for if you watch, do not hyper focus on the outfits, there’s too much casual drip and it will hurt your wallet. Just trust me.

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