Uncharted review – Tom Holland game adaptation is action-movie by committee

Holland gives his all as rogueish treasure hunter Nathan Drake in a by-the-numbers PlayStation adaptation that’s heavy on spectacle but light on heart


With laser-guided precision, with the exactitude of a Nobel-winning rocket scientist or a world-class neurosurgeon, this film measures right up to what you’d expect from a movie based on a PlayStation video game. It’s a huge greenscreen action-adventure with a reasonable bang-buck ratio, but a box office algorithm where its heart is supposed to be. It’s all about a couple of ripped guys on the trail of some lost 16th-century gold belonging to legendary explorer Ferdinand Magellan; the film cheerfully rips off Indiana Jones, the National Treasure films with Nicolas Cage, and there’s a touch of The Goonies in there somewhere.

Tom Holland has been doing some serious work with his personal trainer for his role as Nathan Drake, a tough kid with serious abs and a talent for parkour that looks like it is only partly faked with a stunt double. He is now making a few bucks as a cocktail waiter but he’s also a pickpocket, ripping off rich people in the bar – and dreaming of finding Magellan’s loot, which his adored older brother once told him about before mysteriously going missing.

It’s then that Sully Sullivan (played by a detached Mark Wahlberg, who is maybe not entirely engaged with a second fiddle role) comes up to the light-fingered Nate in his bar with a proposition: a scene pinched from George Clooney meeting Matt Damon for the first time in Ocean’s Eleven. They can team up to search for the gold, and maybe find Nate’s brother, too. But in doing so, they come across some tough customers: gold hunter Chloe (Sophia Ali) and ice-cold martial arts warrior Braddock (Tati Gabrielle) who is in the pay of the smooth-voiced bad guy Moncada (Antonio Banderas).

The lovable rogues bop around from glamorous location to glamorous location and the whole thing runs smoothly enough, with some spectacular touches. Holland gives it his all, but the rest of the cast look a little less committed. An efficient, soulless hologram of a film.

• Uncharted is released on 11 February in the UK, 17 February in Australia and 18 February in the US.