‘Uncharted (2022)’ Review by Jaelly Cueva


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Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Desk

Jaelly Cueva, Staff Writer

Uncharted, starring Tom Holland and Mark Whalberg, is a film based on one of the best action-adventure franchises in the game industry. 

The Uncharted game series follows the story of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. His whole mission is uncovering mythical treasures and lost cities which results in confrontations with rival hunters, thieves, and mobs. Several supporting characters are featured in the series, such as Dake’s mentor, Victor Sullivan, his love interest, Elena Fisher, and Chloe Frazer who serves as a secondary love interest.

The movie focuses on the most recent game of the Uncharted series, Uncharted 4: A Thieves End, developed by Naughty Dog, released in November 2016, and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game picks up years later after the last story, where Nathan Drake has retired from his job as a treasure hunter, but comes back to it after hearing news about his older brother, Sam. A back story of when he was living in the orphanage and meeting up with Sam, who was kicked out by his troubled behavior plays along on Nathan’s perspective. Sullivan, Sam, and Nathan search for clues about Henry Avery’s lost treasure while being chased down by Rafe, the main antagonist of the game, and his partner, Nadine.

Tom Holland plays Nathan Drake, and Mark Whalberg plays Victor Sullivan. Chloe Frazer is played by Sophia Taylor Ali, and the antagonists of the film are Santiago Moncada played by Antonio Banderas, along with his partner, Jo Braddock played by Tati Gabrielle.

With a $120 million budget, the movie follows up the story of Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), who has a brother named Sam Drake (Rudy Pankow), and they are taken back to the orphanage in which they are staying, after getting caught breaking into a museum. Sam decides to leave the orphanage before he gets arrested by the police and promises Nathan he will come back for him. It fast-forwards off to years later where Nathan works as a barista in a club in New York, where he meets Victor Sullivan ( Mark Whalberg) who offers him a job, but Nathan declines. He eventually agrees when he tells him that he worked with his brother back in Spain, searching for Francis Drake’s journal. Nathan agrees with the condition of finding his brother. They immediately get to work and organize a plan to steal one of the two Magellan crosses from an auction house that is put up for sale. There they meet their opponents, Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) and Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) but they get to steal the cross and fly to Spain to meet with Chloe Frazer (Sophia Taylor Ali), the one who had the second Magellan cross. The next day they begin their search for the gold. Nathan and Chloe eventually find the map where the Magellan gold is to be found but she betrays them and takes the map. Sullivan then reveals to Nathan that his brother was shot by Braddock that time they were in Spain. Nathan tells Sullivan that once he helps him find the Magellan gold, they will both part ways. Chloe reveals she was hired by Moncada, she gives him the map, and they begin to fly to the Philippines where the gold is at. Nathan and Sullivan also get into the plane in order to get back the map. Braddock kills Moncada and takes over the mission. Chloe tries to escape while Sullivan takes the map back and jumps off the plane with a parachute. Nathan on the other hand confronts Braddock, but he and Chloe end up jumping to the sea. They end up in a resort, book a room and start to investigate the last piece of the puzzle to find the exact location of the Magellan gold. He ends up finding it in one of the postcards Sam had sent him, and the next day, Nathan lures Chloe with the wrong coordinates, while he drives a jet to the following coordinates. Sullivan arrives once he is inside the ship with the gold tanks thanks to the GPS Nathan had installed in Sullivan’s phone before. Braddock and her crew also arrive and send two helicopters to lift and fly them off the place. Nathan and Sullivan fight off Braddoock’s crew. One of the ships gets destroyed and they finally confront her, making her fall down to the sea after Sullivan drops the bag he had previously filled with gold in order to save Nathan. The second ship falls to the sea crushing Braddock and sinking in the water. The movie then cuts to a final scene where it is revealed that Sam is not dead but somewhere in jail, writing postcards to Nathan. 

The first reference to the game appears in the very beginning of the movie, where Nathan is seen mid-air hanging from a cargo box, referencing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, where Nathan is trying to get out of a train crash. 

Another reference is the introduction of Nathan’s brother, Sam, in a similar way, the brother was first introduced in Uncharted 4: a Thief’s end. Following Sam’s introduction, the backstory that the movie shows is pretty similar to the one in Uncharted 4, where Nathan and his brother break into a women’s house to look for their mother’s stuff, which is supposed to be bought by that woman. 

Nathans and Sam’s life in the orphanage also takes place in the movie, where it is revealed during Nathan’s flashback at the beginning of the movie that both lived in a Catholic Orphanage as young teens. 

Nate and Sullivan’s action plan in an attempt to get one of the two Magellan crosses is also a reference to the Uncharted 4’ plan in stealing a Saint Dismas Cross, wherein both the game and film, the crosses lead them to the locations of the gold.

One of the antagonists in the movie, Jo Braddock, is also a reference to the second antagonist of Uncharted 4, Nadine Ross, in which both characters are hired by the main villains and are introduced during the auction scene.

The outfits of the characters in the movie are very similar compared to their outfits in the game. Nathan wears the classic white shirt and brown cargo pants while Sullivan wears his white tank top and brown short-sleeved flannel with the cargo pants during the time they are searching for the two ships in the Philippines. Chloe’s outfit in the movie does make reference to the outfit choice of the character in the games, wearing red and her accessories in the neck, giving out who she is.

Personally, the movie was not that bad, but the beginning of it was not as interesting as the rest of the movie. It was boring in the beginning, and the only interest I had in the movie was when they showed Nathan’s flashback of him and Sam’s last time they saw each other, and the auction plan. The movie does get interesting throughout the middle and towards the end, all of the action scenes were very entertaining and got me in the movie expecting better ones which did not disappoint. At the end, where they show the growth of Nathan and Sullivan’s relationship was good, but felt rushed knowing that he lied to him and kept being unreliable and selfish towards Nathan. Chloe’s character, on the other hand, seemed pretty important when she and Nathan were piecing things together to end up finding the map, but in the end, she seemed unnecessary even though she kept appearing in scenes to later be gone for a big while and suddenly appear in the end. The plot twists of the movie were pretty good; I did not expect Chloe to be working for Moncada and him getting killed off in the movie since he seemed to be the main villain in the movie. As a viewer with not much knowledge of the Uncharted games, the movie itself was pretty good, a little boring in the beginning but it later makes up for it with all the action scenes we get halfway through and in the end. It does get a little confusing for those who don’t know about the game franchise but not as much. Other than that, the movie looks pretty good and for those who like a lot of action, this movie would probably be the one for you.