Uncharted? Try unimaginative. Unfulfilling. Unimpressive.
The action-adventure film based on the popular video I’ve never played is a mildly entertaining retread of better movies, hampered by bad writing, bland acting, and forgettable action. Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, lacking chemistry with one another and with the material, flounder with awkward dialogue and one-dimensional characters.
Uncharted isn’t the worst movie you’ll see all year, but it is one of the most uninspired. You can literally see other movies shaking their heads in disappointment, if movies had literal heads to shake in disappointment. A whole stretch of the movie is essentially the Venice sequence from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, only with characters you don’t really care about. Another is Goonies, but with more CGI. Another, the airplane scene from The Living Daylights. And the list goes on and on.
The movie, directed by Ruben Fleischer (who made Zombieland, but who also made Gangster Squad, Venom, and Zombieland: Double Tap), drags for the first 45 minutes, picks up a bit at times in the middle, and then accelerates toward the end. The climax isn’t particularly realistic, but it’s fast paced, over the top, and larger than life in a way that stands apart from the rest of the movie. It isn’t great action, but had the rest of the movie been this carefree it might have had a chance.
The thing is, very little about Uncharted feels carefree. The dialogue, packed with jokes that hit with a thud and a womp-womp, feels as if it was written by that one awkward guy at the party who tries to be funny but fails disastrously. Holland and Wahlberg are painful together, exchanging barbs and quips that are neither sharp nor clever. The rest of the cast is thankfully saved from forcing too many jokes, but Antonio Banderas is completely wasted, Sophia Ali is underwritten, and Tati Gabrielle comes off as a half-assed Bond villain from the Roger Moore years.
Uncharted goes where many movies have gone before. It is unconditionally unworthy of your time or money.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.