Reel Thoughts: Tom Holland makes ‘Uncharted’ a successful video game adaptation and entertaining adventure film


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Tom Holland headlines “Uncharted” along with Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas and Sophia Taylor Ali.

Andrés Buenahora , Reporter

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

Carried by Tom Holland’s starpower, “Uncharted” premiered Friday to poor reviews, yet achieved major box office success.

The film has already garnered the biggest opening for a video game adaptation since “Sonic the Hedgehog” in 2020.

Based on the video game franchise of the same name, the movie tells the story of thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), who joins Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) on a journey to find the treasure lost by Ferdinand Magellan hundreds of years prior.

The project went into development in 2008 and originally featured Wahlberg in the principal role. After more than a decade, Sony produced the film and cast the younger Holland as Drake, with Wahlberg serving as his mentor Sully.

Despite its star-studded cast — including Sophia Taylor Ali, Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle and Rudy Pankow — the movie struggled with critics reviews, holding a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This adaptation includes some discrepancies between the film and video game. The movie shortens the age gap between the two characters. While Sullivan does serve as a mentor for Drake, the original game depicts their relationship as much more of a father-son dynamic.

That being said, “Uncharted” maintains the tone of the original game and delivers on an exciting adventure narrative.

Holland brings a bit of Peter Parker-ness to this role that offers a youthful and likable presence to the film, even as he’s kicking henchmen off a plane, sending them thousands of feet to their doom. His sense of humor balances out some of the darker elements of the film, and Holland’s witty one-liners during the middle of intense fight sequences will remind fans of his beloved time as a certain teenage webslinger.

The comedic banter between Drake and Sullivan proves entertaining, and the story is elevated through Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), the last remaining descendent of the Moncada family, threatening the duo in search of the gold.

Banderas’s calm, measured approach and threatening demeanor provides a much-needed antagonist for Drake and Sullivan and creates a layer of subtext that improves an otherwise flat dialogue.

The heart of the film is Holland’s portrayal of Drake and his emotional search for his older brother Sam (Rudy Pankow). While he only appears in a few scenes, the Outer Banks star fuels the plot’s inciting incident and serves as the inspiration behind Drake’s decision to join Sullivan on this quest for Magellan’s treasure.

The perfectly choreographed stunts, the fight sequences, the stunning visuals and backdrops of Barcelona, among other locations, make “Uncharted” an enjoyable film and another box office hit for Sony following the success of “Spider-Man: No Way Home”.

“Uncharted” is an entertaining film that manages to go the distance thanks to Holland’s starpower. It could potentially set up a highly anticipated sequel or even a slate of future films within the franchise.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @andresbuena01

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