The narrative navigates through a razor-thin script overloaded with mad-dash caper, propelled by actors you wish after a while had more meaningful things to exhibit…reports Troy Rebeiro
- (Running in Theatres); Duration: 116 minutes, Director: Ruben Fleischer, Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas, Patricia Meeden, Sarah Petrick, 33 Rudy Pankow (Rating: **1/2)
‘Uncharted’ is an action-packed adventure film based on a video game series- of the same name. It is an origin story that introduces us to treasure hunter Nathan Drake. At the same time, it is an action thriller about two lethally competing scavenger-hunt teams.
Squeezing action sequences from the multiple games series, ‘Uncharted’ ironically does not waste any time- in explaining the backstories of any of its characters or unnecessary exposition. It directly plunges into action and adventure that takes place, in the air, on the water, and in the tombs.
Tom Holland plays Nathan Drake, an orphan whose only close relative is his brother Sam (Rudy Pankow), who he has not seen in years. Now older, Nathan works as a bartender and petty thief who snatches jewellery off his customers while waiting for them.
Then one day, he meets Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who recruits him to find the legendary stash of gold, which essentially is pirate booty that was dumped- by the survivors of the Magellan expedition in 1522. Sully also assures Nathan that they might find his long-lost brother Sam. The two of them soon plan an auction-house heist which does not go as planned.
It does not take long for them to meet other mercenaries and henchmen, whether they are allies or adversaries. Topping the list are; Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas)- the pair’s chief rival whose ancestors had funded the Magellan mission, Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali) – an associate of Sully with whom Nathan shares a relationship, Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) – an associate of Moncada, and the Scottish hooligan (Steven Waddington) whose brogue is so thick that it is virtually difficult to understand him. They all keep everyone in this world spinning on their toes.
The narrative navigates through a razor-thin script overloaded with mad-dash caper, propelled by actors you wish after a while had more meaningful things to exhibit.
On the performance front- Tom Holland pulls off Nathan Drake with aplomb. In a rough and beefed-up mode, Tom exhibits physical flair as well as the same boyishly ingratiating persona that he displayed as Peter Parker, but with a hint of darkness added.
On the other hand, Sully, Mark Wahlberg does a decent job of playing the wise-cracking mentor to Holland. Making his eyes go opaque, he has a funny way of simultaneously making you want to trust and distrust him that balances well with Holland’s goofy, clumsy nature.
Nevertheless, both display a fair amount of chemistry as their characters- try to solve clues leading to the treasure. However, very often, their banter seems forced to generate a laugh or distract the audience from the lacklustre, cat-and-mouse plot.
Antonio Banderas is spot-on as the ruthless Spanish tycoon who would do anything, even eliminate the members of his own family, who might come in his way of finding the loot. So is Tati Gabrielle as the sexy Jo Braddock, who has a penchant for using knives in combat.
Sophia Ali is competent as the unreliable Chloe Frazer, an off-and-on ally of Nathan.
Mounted with ace production values, the absurdity of the action set-pieces proves more exhilarating than exhausting. There is a breathless chase through Barcelona’s tourist sites, a flamboyant plane sequence that also involves – a falling car, helicopters in an action explosion, and a fair number of fights.
Overall, ‘Uncharted’ despite its flaws, is a popcorn blockbuster that you will enjoy if you keep your mind aside.