‘Uncharted’ has failed to break the video game movie curse

Uncharted - Tom Holland
Photo via Sony Pictures Entertainment/YouTube

The first reviews for the Tom Holland-led Uncharted reveal a middling to negative reception, making this flick the latest video game adaptation to join a long list of disowned projects.

As of press time, the film is sitting at 51% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 37 reviews, so the odds of it being “certified fresh” on the review aggregator are essentially slim to none. The movie isn’t exactly faring well on Metacritic, either, currently exhibiting a score of 42 out of 100 based on 8 reviews.

The consensus does indicate that this can be a fun action experience, but so far as capturing the feeling and vibe of the Uncharted game franchise and its iconic character Nathan Drake is concerned, the film falls utterly flat on its face.

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film a score of 4/10, writing: “Every frame is so obviously green-screened, airbrushed and otherwise climate-controlled that it unfolds without a squeak of peril.”

The Guardian also echoed the overuse of green screen and CGI, saying that Uncharted is a “box office algorithm where its heart is supposed to be.”

Empire Magazine gave Uncharted a 2/5 and noted that the film is inspired by flicks that do a much better job, but maintained that it’s “watchable enough.”

Some critics had more positive words to say about Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg’s action-adventure outing. Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer said, “Fans of the video game might be bitterly disappointed, but everyone else will find this a pleasant escape at the multiplex.”

The Wrap also had a much more forgiving stance on the film, noting: “Uncharted taps into a familiar tradition of globe-trotting, roguish adventure, and disguises the influence of those earlier films better than you might expect.”

All in all, then, Uncharted has been received by a tough crowd. Had Sony intended for Nathan Drake’s first cinematic outing to be part of a series, it may need to give the venture a second thought before forging ahead. Ultimately, sequels will live or die based on their financial success, so we’ll just have to wait and see how it performs at the box office. Watch this space.