• by Wes Singleton

Uncharted -B-

Rated PG-13, 115 minutes

The entertaining, often silly new action film "Uncharted" feels familiar: after all, it's based on the popular video game series of the same, not to mention there's elements of such films as "National Treasure" with dashes of Indiana Jones & Jack Sparrow. What this above-average action-adventure film lacks in originality and depth, it makes up with the action sequences and the fun pairing of A-listers Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland, taking a break from the webs of Spider-Man.


Street-smart Nathan Drake (Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Wahlberg) to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada, led by the ruthless Santiago Moncada (Oscar-nominee Antonio Banderas) and his evil mercenary Jo Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), and Drake and Sully have help from the mysterious Chloe Frazier ("Grey's Anatomy's" Sophia Ali).


The enjoyably mindless "Uncharted" doesn't exactly take you to new (or deep) waters, and it doesn't expect much of its audience but to come along for the ride, which is probably good enough for most these days. Its non-stop action sequences and visual effects make up for the weak story, and outside of Holland and Wahlberg, the chief reason to see this. The film is directed by "Zombieland's" Ruben Fleischer, and is co-written by "The Wheel of Time's" Rafe Lee Judkins and "IronMan" writing team of Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who aren't shy about filling the film with lots of predictable plot twists and double-crosses you'll see coming before our amiable leads do.


In "Uncharted," there's a priceless map and artifacts, and searching for some lost gold and lost family, which you've seen Harrison Ford and Nic Cage do countless times in their films. Amidst all this nonsense, there's plenty of action sequences that lend considerable energy to the narrative. It's all fairly ridiculous, but Wahlberg and Holland are both so dern likable and get along so well onscreen, you can look past some of the flaws, sit back and enjoy a fun escape from a pandemic reality that is hopefully nearing an end.


Gabrielle makes for a badass villain, and it's nice she's around to make life even tougher for Wahlberg and Holland's characters. "Uncharted" also leaves it open for more of these, so if it's a hit, and it just might be, there could be more of the Holland-Wahlberg team. You've seen "Uncharted" before but you can't beat mindless action-adventure and a big bucket of popcorn. Go on and see it, you know you want to.