Does the Uncharted movie suffer from the video game adaptation curse?


Posts: 7,899   +82
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In brief: The years-in-development Uncharted movie had plenty of promise, thanks mostly to a cast that includes Tom Holland riding high from his Spider-Man: No Way Home success and some great source material. But it appears that this is yet another example of an adaptation failing to match the video game it's based on, with reviews ranging from mediocre to outright bad.

To give you an idea of how long Uncharted was stuck in development hell, Mark Wahlberg was set to play lead character Nathan Drake back in 2010. The role eventually went to Holland, who would have been around 15 back then, with Wahlberg taking on the part of his mentor, Victor “Sully” Sullivan.

Movies based on video games have started improving in recent years, with the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog a long way from the soul-crushing horror that was Uwe Boll’s Alone in the Dark.

Sadly, reviews suggest that Uncharted isn’t going to top any 'Best Adventure Movies' lists after its release. It’s currently sitting on a score of 54% on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes and 42 on Metacritic, with some of the better reviews merely calling it “serviceable” and an improvement over most other entries in the genre.

As for the more critical reviews, The Guardian writes that the movie has a “box office algorithm where its heart is supposed to be,” and The Independent declares that “There truly is no future for the video-game-to-movie adaptation if Hollywood can’t even crack Uncharted.”

But some reviewers did enjoy Uncharted for what it is. And as Don’t Look Up (and many others) proved, plenty of critically savaged movies end up being loved by the majority of the public. On the flipside, the trailers don't exactly inspire confidence. You’ll get to decide for yourself when Uncharted arrives exclusively in theaters on February 18.

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George Keech

Posts: 175   +292
I have not watched it so wont say anything specific. but the biggest issues with Game movies for me is that they either sick religiously to the source material without thinking - its a game so it works differently. or they are so far away from it (assassins creed) that there is no reason for it to have any connection to the game.

I will say I think Games work better as TV shows as it gives a bit more chance for episodes to be hit or miss rather than the whole film.


Posts: 6,308   +7,247
Video game adaptations work better as a TV series. It's easier to flesh out a story and easier to slowly introduce characters while building the world.

I personally know nothing about Uncharted - never played any of them - and might watch the film just to get some idea what it's about.

This kind of movie targets people like me rather than the die-hard loyalists who will hang on top every single thread and threaten crucifixion if minute details are left incorrect.



Posts: 761   +1,021
Pretty much all video game movies and shows suck because the plot of a video game is to move you from point A to point B while using stereo type protagonist and antagonists. As a video game this works great, no need for constant 20 minute videos of why you are the way you are and why the villain is they way they are. The villain is a sociopath who enjoys burning down your village and killing your family. Go perform mass genocide with no repercussion until you level up and/or reach the villain for some good old fashion vigilante justice.


Posts: 1,187   +1,111
The thing is Uncharted games are already movies by themselves. And with you being the actor in it.

And so are all the other movie based games. You play the role of the hero/heroine. You move the story.

So, the best thing people can do is stop seeing biased and influenced reviews and watch the movies themselves and don't connect the movies to their games origin and try to watch them in their own capacity as individual movies.

And I don't care rottentomatoes or metacritic. Movies or games, I will form my own opinion. - If I enjoyed a low graded movie or games and detested high ranking ones, so be it. And if I concur to the aggregates, none the wiser.


Posts: 516   +590
I know nothing about this movie - didn't even know there was an Uncharted movie adaptation coming up before reading this article. But judging by the pictures illustrating the article alone, I can see that the casting choices were not good. Tom Holland looks way too emasculated (and a bit too young) to be a convincing Nathan Drake, and Mark Wahlberg is looking just too sad (and also too young) to be a proper Sullivan.

As far as video games to movie adaptations go, most really are not good. I think the better ones are probably the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies with Angelina Jolie, Silent Hill (2006), Street Fighter (1994), and Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (2005).

The Need for Speed movie (2014) is also surprisingly decent, story and characters are completely forgettable but it has racing and car chase scenes that are better than anything seen in any F&F movie.


Posts: 603   +502
To me, most of these movies trying to ride on game popularity tend to fall flat in the face. Most if not all of them always veer off from the storyline in games, or they just focus on graphics. In recent years, I've watched Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Warcraft and Monster Hunter, and all of them are bad. Monster Hunter gets first prize for being a really crappy movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the reboot of Tomb Raider game, and the storyline is really good and engaging. But the movie just takes it off course and ruined the good story.