Uncharted review: Tom Holland-starrer is Hollywood’s hollowest, blandest blockbuster in years

Uncharted review: Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg share a chemistry that can only be defined as ‘two people who were in the same room sometimes.’ 

Based on one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time, Uncharted centers on treasure hunter Nathan Drake and sets out to tell his origin story.

The lifeless opening scene gives us the tragic backstory of Nathan and his brother Sam, who lost their parents at a young age. Both brothers are, of course, treasure-obsessed.

“We have pirate blood in our veins, we’re descendants of Sir Francis Drake after all” Sam tells his brother.

 After getting caught trying to steal a map. Sam runs away from the orphanage leaving 10-year-old Nathan behind.

Smash cut to years later - a grown-up Nathan is now a bartender and petty thief. But don’t be fooled, Nathan is not a real person. He’s an action-hero-in-training just waiting around for an adventure to find him.

 He’s a slick, suave, ripped, parkour-proficient, history nerd leading an unremarkable life. If that doesn't scream “somebody throw me out of a plane so I can fight bad guys in mid-air” I don’t know what does.

There’s a scene in Uncharted where two flying pirate ships are engaged in a thrilling mid-air chase and still, the biggest leap my imagination had to take during this movie was in trying to buy Mark Wahlberg playing a dude named…Victor

Even the puzzle-solving treasure hunt adventure itself is dull, offering clues so silly, they make an escape room feel like a word search. Surely it’s hard to go wrong with the ‘following clues across caves and caverns’ template?

In the end, it’s almost impressive how watered down Uncharted is, offering no redeeming elements whatsoever. Nathan’s defective lighter - which he always relies  on to get himself out of a tight squeeze - has more personality than the entirety of what's on offer here.

Uncharted left me wondering whether, at a time when audiences are scrutinising the theatrical experience more than ever, it's fair to put even more pressure on the massively mounted blockbuster to entertain and help us escape our realities.