Uncharted (CREDIT: Sony Pictures)

Starring: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas, Rudy Pankow

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Running Time: 116 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for Mostly Bloodless Action

Release Date: February 18, 2022 (Theaters)

The most complimentary thing I can say about Uncharted is that it made me want to fact-check its claims about Ferdinand Magellan. But actually now that I think about it, I probably would have preferred if it had just fabulated some wild, obviously false claims about that real-life explorer. For what it’s worth, some quick googling and Wikipedia referencing confirms the broad outlines of Uncharted‘s history lessons. Which is to say: despite what you may have heard, Magellan did NOT circumnavigate the globe, as he died before the expedition was complete, though the surviving members of his crew did manage to make it all the way around. Anyway, I suppose that’s meant to be thematically relevant, insofar as it has something to do with the power of second chances? But really, it’s of course just an excuse for some Indiana Jones-style globetrotting.

Tom Holland is excited to be there as up-and-coming treasure hunter Nathan Drake, while Mark Wahlberg delivers the cynicism as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, who’s happy to let everyone else do all the hard work. PlayStation devotees already know who these guys are, but it doesn’t take any special expertise to recognize that this a video game movie. I’m not just talking about how Nathan is constantly jumping from platform to platform (there are plenty of non-video game movies that feature characters escaping from tight situations!) as much as I’m calling out how this adaptation feels so beholden to its source material. I’ve never played the games, so I don’t know how close the resemblance is or isn’t, but I can tell that something’s holding this movie back from the stratosphere. Contrast that with the National Treasure flicks, which are fairly straight-down-the-middle efforts that try to please every type of audience, but they at least have the good sense to feature ludicrous premises. Meanwhile, you’ll want to join Nathan and Sully’s trip only if you’ve already booked a ticket.

Uncharted is Recommended If You Like: Watered-down versions of the classics

Grade: 2 out of 5 Treasure Maps