Sic Parvis Magna, this is the insignia on the ring which the protagonist of the video game franchise Uncharted, Nathan Drake carries around his neck. When translated from Latin it reads, Greatness From Small Beginnings. Clearly, based upon the trailer for the Uncharted movie, the executives at Sony thought it translated to something along the lines of, Money From Bad Ideas.
For as long as I’ve been alive, and even before, producers and those behind modern blockbusters have wanted nothing than video game movies to explode in popularity in the same vein as the superhero genre. I mean, you’ve got hundreds of awesome stories, just write a script about them and call it good, right? No.
This movie has been in development for over 10 years, with something always going wrong behind the scenes. And, as a massive fan of the video game series, that didn’t bother me. It’s always been a series that takes chances with its stories and can feel downright cinematic at times, to be honest, in the eyes of the enemy, it is a perfect choice for a film adaptation.
A few years back, they announced Tom Holland to play a younger Drake, this was another of many red flags. Then, it was announced that Marky Mark himself, Mark Wahlberg would be playing Drake’s mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan, and the film would be a new idea apart from the video games that told the story of how these two treasure hunting thieves met. More trouble, first off, I love Wahlberg when he’s in the pumping iron with the Rock, or giving aliens that turn into cars life advice, but as Sully, not a role for him. Secondly, in the events of Uncharted: Drake’s Deception, we already saw how these characters met, so it’s not really big news.
I don’t like Tom Holland as Spider-Man, or in anything else I’ve seen him in, and with Wahlberg at his side, I just accepted that this would probably be another bad, yet funny-to-watch adaptation and then go on with my life. Wish we’d gotten Nathan Fillion to play Drake, but life goes on.
Then today, on Oct. 21, 2021, the first official trailer was released, and in the words of another famous treasure hunter when he quickly had to figure out how to escape a nuke-town, “Oh that can’t be good. Oh, that can’t be good at all.”
As a moviegoer, it looks average at best. But I really wanted the viewpoint from an outside perspective, who could really give me their raw opinion, on only the movie alone. So I asked my parents to watch the trailer and they didn’t hold back. Both commented on how these don’t feel like characters, but just the actors doing adventure stuff. My mom couldn’t get over how, “…Spider-Man and Puss in Boots,” share dialogue in an actual movie. But my dad gave the ultimate sign of a bad movie adding, “I think I would watch it at home.”
As a fan of the franchise, it looks soulless. I understand you have to introduce the regular person to this world, but you do that with… Led Zeppelin? The biggest problem I’m seeing is that this just looks like a Spider-Man movie, this can be seen best with the fact that I couldn’t agree more with my parents, in that Holland is just acting like Peter Parker, and even Wahlberg is just acting like himself. If you wanted a buddy adventure film with these two actors, just make one with original characters, why’d you have to throw my boys Drake and Sully into this?
The action, wow okay, this also ties into the story um, they’re just taking scenes from the different games and calling it good. Okay, okay, hear me out, just for a second; no. Let me explain. For a film like 2018’s Tomb Raider, the action and story were heavily based upon the 2011 reboot of the video games franchise, nothing wrong with that. They even throw in different elements that only showed up in the sequels, like how she uses an ice axe. So what’s the difference?
The difference is, from the Tomb Raider trailer I can tell there’s a story, that then has action scenes from the game. With the Uncharted trailer, they have great action sequences from almost every different game, but with a story looking to be generic.
It only took 2 minutes and 34 seconds for all my fears, as a fan of the original source material, to be realized, and the same amount of time to lead many casual movies watchers away from the treasure movie. Maybe we will see an age of video game adaptations taking over the film industry, but I will guarantee, it’s not gonna start here.