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Uncharted (2021) is Absolute Garbage | Film Review

Even though Tom Holland is nice to look at

Graeme Sutherland

Rating: 1/5


photo courtesy of IMDb


It’s ironic that a film called ‘Uncharted’ is an adaptation of a video game that was, in turn, inspired by a popular film series. It’s maybe more ironic that the film is one of the most derivative things I have ever seen. I suppose ‘Charted’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.


When I first reviewed the trailer, I argued that making a film from this confused combination of source material was like putting an email through Google Translate until you were left with the fleshy, mangled remnant of the original text. Well, actually, I didn’t go that far. But I am now. Screw this movie.

It’s like they hand-plucked all the clichés from the worst Bond films and forced them through the decaying, gastric tract of Indiana Jones. It’s like they surgically removed all the fun from Mission Impossible and brought it to life, gargling exposition through its own blood.

Also, it wasn’t very good.

The problem with adaptations is that they have a lot to live up to. The problem with video game adaptations in particular is that they are cursed by God, and creating one is considered an act of hubris.

For this reason, I respect the creation of Charted, but it’s impossible to hide my disappointment that it falls so short of success.

The plot is, in all honesty, hardly worth commenting on. Nate (Tom Holland) gets recruited by Sully (Mark Wahlberg) to find a long-lost pirate treasure. This is a pretty neat start, but it’s all stitched together by terribly written exposition and poorly executed action sequences. Among these is perhaps the worst chase scene I have ever witnessed where an inconsequential character called Chloe (Sophia Taylor Ali) steals an artefact and is clumsily pursued through Barcelona. The event is surprisingly boring, and immediately rendered pointless when Nate catches up with Chloe and asks her politely to give the item back. Chloe spends the rest of the film desperately trying to be relevant, but always managing to be occluded by a narrative that rejects her pertinence. It’s pretty obvious that she is there to get in Nate’s way a couple of times so she can be used as a lazily implemented love interest in the next title. Screw this movie.

And Charted is full of this shit. Moments of action that miss the mark, terrible dialogue, and uninspired…well, everything. It’s just bad. Maybe so bad it’s fun? But, probably not.

In the whole film there were maybe one or two moments where I forgot myself and was able to fully enjoy what I was seeing—a glimpse of an Uncharted adaptation that might actually be wonderful. In a way, giving us these dejected fragments of good material was worse than simply allowing the dumpster fire to burn unattended. At least then I wouldn’t mourn what might have been.

Ach, well—there’s always Uncharted 4.