Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans

REVIEW: Uncharted Off the Map is a good movie for those who are not fans of the games

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Adaptation of the PlayStation franchise is more concerned with entertaining with an origin plot than faithfully reproducing the events of Nathan Drake in the games

If adaptations of titles from other media sounds risky to fans, let alone video game enthusiasts. In recent times, the Sony Pictures has been one of the companies that spearheaded the movement of turning game stories into movies. Although the results were not very satisfactory - see the most recent Resident Evi: Welcome to Raccoon City —, the public should find more franchises on the big screen. Maybe even more than I'd like.

Uncharted Off the Map (title used in Brazil) is Sony's new attempt to make a video game success in theaters. The film comes from PlayStation's Uncharted franchise, which consists of four games filled with action, adventure and mystery. Its great protagonist is Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter and professional thief who risks everything to achieve his goals.

At the invitation of Sony, the showmetech already watched the movie and you can check out the highs and lows of the first film adaptation of the series below.

The Nathan Drake Saga

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Naughty Dog and PlayStation franchise is one of the most famous of the console. (Image: Naughty Dog/PlayStation/Play)

If you've never heard of Uncharted, but are interested in the film, let's briefly tell you what the franchise's charm is.

The four main published games are: Drake's Fortune (which also baptizes the film's title in English), Among Thieves, Drake's Deception e At Thief's End. All of them are starring Nathan Drake, the character played in the long by Tom Holland.

A last unpublished game of the series released, however, was The Lost Legacy, starring two characters who appear on Nathan's journey. Recently, you may have also heard about the Legacy of Thieves, the remastered version of the two latest games for the PlayStation 5.

At its core, Uncharted features the core elements of action and adventure in play. Nathan discovers ancient buildings, beautiful forests, different peoples and their cultures, as well as, of course, facing his direct enemies.

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Charisma and adventure go hand in hand in Nathan Drake's journeys. (Image: Naughty Dog/PlayStation/Play)

It's not all that uncommon to hear this PlayStation series compared to Lara Croft ou Indiana Jones. Despite having in common the aspect of heroes in search of the exploitation of valuable resources, Uncharted stands out for the great charisma of the characters. Furthermore, the engaging narrative, due to the gameplay diversified, further contributed to the rise of its popularity.

Based on that, Off the Map had the mission to rescue the main values ​​and highlights of the games without making it a generic movie. Much of this, as we shall see below, was induced by the director from easter eggs and iconic scenes from the games. However, is that enough to consider it a really good adaptation?

The Uncharted movie proposal

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Film bets on Nathan's origin while including scenes from different periods of the games.
(Image: Clay Enos/Sony Pictures/Disclosure)

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, responsible for Venom e Zombie, the new movie Uncharted was sold as an origin film. That means audiences would get their first glimpse of Nathan Drake since his treasure-hunting journey began.

Without going too deep into the plot for reasons of spoiler, this narrative choice was a fundamental part of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End which even served as the basis for many scenes in this film. What the director does, however, is try to fit different events into just one two-hour long.

That way, fans of the franchise will find references not only to the fourth, but also the third and even the second game. This has been done before — and not so long ago — with the disastrous adaptation of Resident Evil. Here, however, it doesn't go as wrong as you might think. Great care was taken when inserting these distinct scenes.

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Golden Cross is one of the valuable pieces that help in the search for the lost treasure. (Image: Clay Enos/Sony Pictures/Disclosure)

In its premise, the film addresses Nathan (Tom Holland) in an ordinary life, working as he can and, above all, stealing valuable objects from people. This goes on until the moment you find Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who recruits him for an ambitious mission: to rescue an ancient cross that is also under the watch of Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas).

In this narrative line, the Uncharted film uses and abuses intense action scenes, introduces new characters to this universe and focuses, mainly, on the captivating relationship between Tom and Mark that is undeniably interesting to watch.

Sympathetic characters, but outside the aesthetics

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Much of the cast manages to convince the audience more because of their charisma than the delivery in the performance of their characters. (Image: Clay Enos/Sony Pictures/Disclosure)

What can be assumed after this movie is that the director selected the cast for their potential and popularity rather than their resemblance to the characters in the games.

Tom Holland is one of the hottest actors at the moment, especially after the great success of Spider-Man: No Return Home. The reality is that he's too young to look like Nathan Drake, a man in his 30s. Even though the film tries to embody the original synopsis, scenes from different moments in the franchise are included, which does not hold up in practice.

the performance of Tom Holland it has its ups and downs. At times, the actor oozes charisma and seems focused on his role. In others, we simply see Peter Parker with a backpack on his back and a great desire to find a lost treasure. It is possible to believe that his choice for the film is more strategic than, in fact, complementary to the game's roots.

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Victor Sullivan and Nathan Drake from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Characters have very different traits from the actors chosen to play them.
(Image: Naughty Dog/PlayStation/Play)

Speaking of roots, Mark Wahlberg maybe it's as far away from Victor as fans could hope. In the games, the character is already over 50 years old and couldn't juggle as big as this modern Victor could. On the other hand, Mark is perhaps the actor who most managed to capture the essence of his character. Sullivan's irony, wit and wit are present in his version of the character. This, in particular, is pleasant to see on screen.

Another important figure for the game series is chloe frazer (Sophia Taylor Ali), which was represented here in a less subtle way than it should be. The actress brings a more “tone”bad girl” to the character who ends up going a little too far at times. As a whole, she manages to fulfill her role in a satisfactory way for this adaptation proposal.

The secondary characters draw attention at various times, although they don't get most of the screen. Antonio Banderas, as always, is mesmerizing. His character, however, ends up becoming shallow. Taty Gabrielle, that makes Jo Braddock, even steals a scene or another with his performance, but his character is limited to an almost null development.

"If the characters don't look like the ones in the games, how could they work in a full-length movie?" The answer lies in the entertainment factor. In terms of adaptation, there is a sequence of failures that, frankly, are not surprising. But in the sense of a standalone movie, Uncharted yields good moments of contemplation, especially when the action scenes take place.

Vivid scenery and frantic action

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Long inserts iconic scenes from the games, such as the A Thief's End auction, and packed with action in a juggling act that entertains until the end. (Image: Clay Enos/Sony Pictures/Disclosure)

One of the highlights of Off the Map is the confrontational moments. Technically, the film performs on top of other Sony publications — like the dime visual effects from Welcome to Raccoon City. Several scenes are very pleasant to watch, with interesting and flashy angles.

The plane scene, iconic in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and present in the trailer of the film, borders on the absurd. But so far the games also show situations quite unimaginable in the real world. In that sense, frantic moments like this end up being fun to watch. The sound of the feature also demonstrated the veracity of the scenes.

Another relevant topic here is the inclusion of beautiful backgrounds. Some scenes from the games appear very similar to the original - like the plane moment, the auction and the treasure boat cave. Even the new locations, exempt in the video game series, had some creativity when they were created.

Is Uncharted Off the Map worth watching?

Review: uncharted - off the map is a good movie for non-game fans
Adaptation of Uncharted to the cinemas is satisfying and should cheer up those looking for the classic formula of action entertainment. (Image: Sony Pictures/Disclosure)

Without falling too much into the cliché (but already falling), Uncharted Off the Map is a not-so-successful attempt to adapt many elements of the franchise's N at once, but that yields good moments of entertainment simply because of its charisma.

Not to say that fans will hate everything they see, the director had the good intentions of including some easter eggs pretty cool ones — which you'll discover as you watch — that are also just right.

If the movie has a great audience response, it's possible that Sony will produce a sequel to take advantage of several other game hooks that are still available. For now, what has been delivered to us is a film without fear of being the typical slapstick of the “Afternoon Session” and without also reaching complete disaster. Maybe that's enough for the moment.

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Verdict: Uncharted: Off the Map

Uncharted: Off the Map
6 10 0 1
A good movie for anyone who is not a fan of the PlayStation game series
Adaptation of the PlayStation franchise is more concerned with entertaining with an origin plot than faithfully reproducing the events of Nathan Drake in the games
6/10
total Score
  • road map
    6/10 Normal
  • Performances and performances
    5/10 Indifferent
  • Production design and photography
    7/10 Good
  • Sound and soundtrack
    7/10 Good
  • Visual effects and editing
    7/10 Good

Pros

  • charismatic movie
  • Good chemistry between Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in the scene
  • Interesting scenery and visual effects
  • Well-selected Easter eggs for fans
  • good as entertainment

Cons

  • Script with fragile plot
  • Lack of more expressions in performances
  • Underused secondary characters
  • Characters far removed from the game's aesthetics
  • bad as an adaptation
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