First off, let’s get the hook out of the way and embed the Uncharted trailer that dropped last week right up here at the top.
For those of you who are sticking around, thank you for improving the average time on the site and the bounce rate. Bless you.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Uncharted franchise, the globe-trotting, treasure-hunting adventure story comes to us from Naughty Dog Studios in the form of PlayStation-exclusive games. The first entry in the franchise, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007) introduced us to Nathan Drake and his mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan and their quests for legendary treasures and mythical locations (in the first game, it was El Dorado). There were four official games released between 2007 and 2016, introducing us to lovable characters who embark on ofttimes breathtaking escapades.
Fans of the games have been craving a movie adaptation for years, and for good reason – the game’s characters and storylines added incredible depth to downright addicting gameplay. Sony has been trying to fulfill those fans’ dreams accordingly, and it’s finally one step closer to that dream becoming a reality, as evidenced by the trailer.
I had a few initial concerns before the movie was official … namely, how does this type of story differentiate itself from the infinitude of similar stories on the big screen? Indiana Jones obviously set that standard; everything else has felt like a cheap imitation. Off the top of my head, perhaps National Treasure comes close to re-capturing that magic. But, even the Tomb Raider movies – including the lackluster reboot – make it seem as if the action-adventure video game won’t translate to a movie-going audience.
After viewing the trailer, I still have some of these concerns about Uncharted – plus a few more. Nathan Fillion was the shoe-in favorite to play Nathan Drake (heck, they even look, sound, and act similarly – not to mention their first name), but as the movie continued its drag through development hell, it seemed as if Father Time was not in favor of Fillion. Instead, we have Tom Holland playing a young Drake, with Mark Wahlberg taking up the role of Sully (sans ‘stache, sadly). I had hopes for Holland, but, in the trailer, he seemed a little stiff. The banter between Drake and Sully was on-par with the game dialogue but didn’t quite have the same cadence that gamers have grown accustomed to. Of course, if everything was a carbon copy of the games, it would get dull, so seeing the artistic interpretation of the adaptation gives me a sliver of hope.
Additionally, some of the game moments glimpsed in the trailer were a mish-mash of scenes from different games. We notably saw the wrecked ship in a cave from Uncharted 4 (a game that includes flashbacks of a younger Drake and introduced us to his brother Sam, who is name-dropped in the trailer) and the plane cargo scene from Uncharted 3. So part of me feels like having a snapshot of iconic moments from different games are the obvious Easter eggs – but then a pessimistic part of me wonders if the producers had little faith in anything beyond one film, so the creators loaded it with as much as they could.
Overall, though, it looks like it could be a very fun movie with engaging action sequences and exotic locations. I’ll also give the filmmakers props for their casting of Sophia Taylor Ali as Chloe Frazier; everything I saw from the trailer tells me Ali captured that character quite well. Also, props for the use of a Led Zeppelin song in the trailer. You can’t go wrong with Zep.
Color me cautiously optimistic for Uncharted when it comes exclusively to theaters on February 18, 2022.
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