‘Uncharted’ (2022) lives up to its hype



Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg as Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan in “Uncharted” (2022).

Grace Sharma, Staff Writer

A boy with a love of history, a man with a love of treasure. A hunt for lost gold, betrayals so often you begin to forget who has done what, and an unlikely alliance. “Uncharted” (2022) is the most recent treasure hunting adventure film to be released, and it lives up to its expectations. 

We follow Nathan Drake, played by Tom Holland, a bartender living in New York, stealing from rich folks who enter to survive. Nathan is approached by Victor Sullivan, or Sully, played by Mark Wahlberg, a mysterious man with an unending greed for gold. Together, they embark on a journey to find treasure.

One of the major critiques of this film is that it strays too far from the self-titled games they are based on. While I don’t believe deviating from source material curates an inherently bad film, I personally have not played the “Uncharted” games, so this review will come from a person who walked into the theaters with the sole expectation of an action-packed treasure hunting film with sprinkles of humor. 

The film as a whole keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. With a fast-paced plot, complex characters, and an intriguing world, “Uncharted” offers a brilliant escape from your movie theater seat with minor let-downs. 

First, the setup of the film, the inciting incident, the call to action: it felt slightly forced. Nathan has a brief conversation with Sully soon after meeting him and immediately agrees to partner up with him the very next day. We’re given little motivation and much skepticism as to how Sully found Nathan, why he wants him, and what his true motives are. The caveat of information Sully gives to Nathan to provide that drive makes sense, but is still not enough to warrant the reaction that it did. 

Furthermore, the fast-paced feel takes away from the beginning of the film. Again, no depth is established to the characters—who they are, why they do what they do, their backstories. We are given one scene of a young Nathan Drake at the start, which is a vital piece to his story, but nothing else. 

However, “Uncharted” picks up quickly after one of the film’s first main plot points. The characters have established goals, boundaries, and relationships. Action scenes are done extraordinarily well, albeit occasionally unrealistically, with the perfect amount of humor sprinkled in to add personality. Some of the major plot twists are predictable, but still done well. 

The characters introduced later in the film are all necessary to the plot, and add some level of depth to the characters and decisions being made. The dynamic between Nathan and Sully develops to be a brotherly one, with endless bickering and an underlying care for one another that isn’t mentioned until the very end. One of the most well-done aspects to this film is the growth of the characters. We see Nathan, who at the beginning was too trusting, learn from his mistakes and grow to be a better person. He is still Nathan, he still has the same traits and personality, but he learns from his mistakes, which adds a whole new layer to his already developed character. 

A few more setbacks of “Uncharted” include not really having a definite villain to root against. The betrayals are a direct cause of this, making the antagonist constantly changing. This both adds and takes away from the film. It leaves the viewer without an exact antagonist to root against, but also only focusing on Nathan and Sully hunting for the treasure and looking for clues, which adds to the shock value of the main twists. 

Overall, “Uncharted” is a film I recommend to lovers of treasure hunting, action-packed, humoristic films, but if you’re a fan of the actual videogame, keep in mind that it stands best as its own film and does deviate from the game’s plot and characters slightly. If you enjoyed “Uncharted,” I also recommend watching “National Treasure” (2004), which has similar levels of action and humor, all tied together to be a film about hunting for lost treasure with undertones of fascinating history facts.