X marks the spot: ‘Uncharted’ strikes box office gold

Photo courtesy of IMDb

By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer

Despite some preemptive predictions that “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, would fall short in theaters, “Uncharted” has performed better than expected, becoming the highest-grossing video game movie since 2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog.”

Sometimes you’ll see a trailer for a movie while you’re in the theater and think, “this is totally going to flop.” I have to admit, “Uncharted” was one of those movies for me. However, it surprised me and I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would.

The movie opens as Nathan Drake, played by Tom Holland, hangs by his feet from some fraying straps, dangling out of a cargo plane thousands of feet in the air. Dropped directly into the action, the audience may feel the same way — safely suspended by a predictable storyline, only to be dropped with each twist and turn the movie takes.

Video game fans may take issue with the casting of Tom Holland as Nathan Drake, as he is slightly younger than his video game counterpart, but Holland plays the part well — likably cocky and intelligent, but still naive enough to gain some personal growth on his adventure.

Nathan’s brother Sam disappeared years ago after running from cops who came to their orphanage to arrest him, and left Nathan with little but a desire to find the lost treasure of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The treasure was said to have been brought to Barcelona from the Philippines by his surviving crew after his mysterious death. When Nathan and his sarcastic, grouchy mentor Sully, played by Mark Wahlberg, and their untrustworthy partner Chloe, played by Sophia Taylor Ali, race Spanish billionaire Santiago Moncada, played by Antonio Banderas, and his head assassin, Tati Gabrielle, for the gold, betrayal and back-stabbing ensue.

“Uncharted” has some great action scenes if you’re not a history buff. Otherwise, you’ll hate to see fake 16th century ships completely destroyed in the conquest for the gold that they enclose. One scene in particular includes Nathan on one of two of Magellan’s deserted ships being transported out of the Philippines by a helicopter, while actually operating a 16th century cannon in order to deter his opponents who infiltrate the other ship and the helicopter that flies it.

“Uncharted” isn’t much for realism, especially when it comes to the historical basis of its plot, but I tend to judge cheesy action movies not based on how complex or realistic they are, but simply if they’re entertaining. “Uncharted” is predictable and simple, and it takes after just about every action film before it. But at the end of the day, it’s hard to sit in the theater and still be miserable and bored. Leave your expectations for a gritty, dark action film at the doors and enjoy a really entertaining, fun movie.