Uncharted is one of Sony's best-selling franchises. It's second only to Gran Turismo with 28 million units sold, which is amazing when you consider that Naughty Dog's action-adventure series started in 2007. So, when news of an Uncharted live-action movie popped up, fans couldn't contain their excitement. Unfortunately, it would take several years for the project to finally gain traction. But, the good news is that Uncharted isn't just here - it's already headed to theaters on February 18 (it's already been out in the UK for a couple of days).
Having said that, critics had a chance to check out Uncharted ahead of everyone else to share their thoughts.
Unfortunately, the early reviews of Uncharted do not paint the franchise's cinematic outing in a good light. Clarrise Loughley of The Independent gave Uncharted 2 stars out of 5, describing the film as "passionless and inert." However, she does take note of Tom Holland's performance, describing it as "quite refreshing" in comparison to "an action landscape largely populated by human bricks." The Telegraph's Robbie Collin was even harsher, noting how the film is "so obviously green-screened, airbrushed, and otherwise climate-controller that it unfolds without a squeak of peril."
Other reviews were equally unforgiving to Uncharted. Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy blasts Holland's performance, saying that "you never really feel that you're watching Nathan Drake." Sandwell also points out Holland's lack of chemistry with Mark Wahlberg, who plays Sully. Ironically, Mark was initially tapped to take on the role of Nathan Drake before he got too old to play the character.
If it's any consolation, other reviewers had a handful of good things to say about Uncharted. Even though Nick De Semlyen for Empire still had a few choice words to say about the movie, he finds several treasurable moments from Uncharted. In particular, Nick finds that the film eventually "lives up to the giddy, inventive spectacle of the source material." near the end. Unfortunately, Nick agrees with other critics that Uncharted wasted its potential.
Critics were always going to go hard on Uncharted being that it is based on a best-selling game. Perhaps it was wishful thinking for Tom Holland to be able to lead two box office hits in a row and for Uncharted to be one of the best video game movies of all time. Then again, just because Uncharted wasn't a critical darling doesn't mean that it won't pull in the numbers.
We'll find out more about the potential of Uncharted as a cinematic franchise once it hits theaters on February 18. Until then, fans can start prepping themselves by playing through Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection on the PS5.