Tom Holland miscast as lead in action-adventure film ‘Uncharted’, based on the video game series

Richard Leung
  • The film follows the Spider-Man star, along with Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas and Sofia Ali, as they race to find Magellan’s treasure
  • Fans of the Nathan Drake character won’t be impressed by the film, but newcomers will enjoy the visual elements and backstory
Richard Leung |

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Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake in “Uncharted.” Photo: Sony Pictures via AP

Uncharted tells the story of Nathan Drake (Tom Holland), an aspiring adventurer, as he partners up with Sully (Mark Wahlberg) and Chloe Frazer (Sofia Ali) to find Ferdinand Magellan’s lost treasure. The race is on as they compete against the corrupt billionaire Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), whose family funded Magellan’s expedition.

The search sends them on a worldwide treasure hunt, and they travel everywhere from New York to Spain to the Philippines in search of the gold.

The film is based on the popular Uncharted video game series, which debuted in 2007 with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Since then, the series has become a powerhouse name in gaming, selling millions of copies with each instalment and earning fans around the world. The series, which currently consists of six games, follows Nathan Drake (voiced by Nolan North in the games) as he discovers lost cities in search of treasure whilst fighting a myriad of villains and mythical monsters along the way.

This movie serves almost as a prequel to the games, showing us a younger Drake and Sully and giving us the backstory of how they first met.

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Although the plot is completely different from the backstory presented in the games, it still takes a lot of inspiration from this world, drawing elements from Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Still, it can never decide if it wants to be a brand-new original story, or some sort of adaptation of the franchise’s games.

The film also fails to justify the need for a young Nathan Drake film, especially since the games already did a good job giving us insight into the character’s past. A movie with an older Nathan Drake would have served fans better.

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Tom Holland was also grossly miscast in the role. Whether it was due to the writing or acting, he lacked the dry, sarcastic wit and bold confidence the character has in the series.

If you’re a fan of the Uncharted games, the film will probably leave a sour taste in your mouth, in spite of its brilliant visual elements. But for first time viewers, the story does a good enough job introducing Nathan Drake and establishing his mythos. It also allows new viewers to get a feel of the series by bringing it down to earth. For example, in the Uncharted games, the character finds himself fighting zombie-esque or ancient troll-like creatures, and the removal of these mystical elements grounds the franchise, making it easier to digest for newcomers.

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