My partner, Hoot, and I have an amazing group of friends who we met through our mutual love of Nolan North. For us two Xbox and PC geeks, that love came from Nolan’s performances in Assassin’s Creed, Destiny, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Con Man. But for most of our other friends, that love first came from Uncharted.
When all your friends assume that Uncharted is something everyone “just knows,” there’s a twinge of that old childhood feeling of being an outcast. So, three years ago, I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and grabbed the Nathan Drake Collection to see what all the fuss is about. I got about two thirds into the first game (Drake’s Fortune)… and then stopped. I felt like I was just playing my beloved Assassin’s Creed, but with a different premise, a different controller, and a less compelling backstory. I just wasn’t feeling all the hype that my friends felt. I’d rather be organizing my sock drawer than making the 30th attempt to drive that fucking Jet Ski through a firing range on Easy mode! So I took a break from it and went back to games I was enjoying more.
Not long after that, the Uncharted movie was announced with Mark Wahlberg, who I have adored for years, and Tom Holland, who turns everything into gold these days. I knew I was going to watch this movie because they were in it. But I also knew my opinions of the film would probably be very different from our Uncharted nerd friends.
Hoot and I saw the movie late on opening weekend knowing or remembering very little about the characters and their game stories. Unlike the game, I got through all of it and loved it! It’s a lot of fun! It had a good pace, fun dialog, good chemistry between the protagonists (Nate and Sully), and action sequences that hit all the right notes. Plus, after seeing Pilou Asbæk playing another baddie in the post-credit scene, I was on-board for another chapter!
That said, Hoot and I talked a lot about the film’s obvious head-scratchers when it comes to basic physics. That backpack full of gold, even if it was a small 10-liter pack, would weigh around 425 pounds! (Damn, Sully must be ripped!) And whose hair looks that good two minutes after you’ve been drowning? (Chloe clearly has magic hair.) But when we let go of those little reality breaks, it’s an enjoyable ride start to finish!
Favorite moment? Nolan’s cameo, of course! Perfection! I think some folks next to us in the theater recognized him, too.
Nate and Sully were the only characters I remembered from the short time playing that first game, plus Elena who wasn’t in this film. I loved seeing this story of how Nate and Sully came to know each other and work together. I bought every second of their story and really enjoyed their dialog. Knowing their backstory now honestly makes me want to go back and at least finish the stories in the games (or just find all the cutscenes on YouTube).
So yeah, Uncharted is a fun film that’s on par with classic adventures from my childhood like the first three Indiana Jones films and The Goonies. And if you didn’t get the obvious tributes to those films, you were probably too busy looking for all the game references, instead.
For perspectives from some long-time Uncharted fans, check out what Lily K and Maria Kinnun said about the film.
Any fellow Uncharted game virgins or near-virgins out there? What did YOU think of the Uncharted movie?