Not many thought the trailer was anything to write home about, although this appears to be partly due to the casting choice. The leaked version of the trailer caused a lot of complaints, too on Gamer.nl: “B version of Indiana Jones” and “Fan fiction” are two examples of mediocre reaction.
The trailer shows how a young Nathan Drake – played by spider-actor Tom Holland – dangles from a cargo plane and tries to climb out of this predicament. By the way, just as players can experience it in Uncharted 3. There is hardly a clearer poem for the game series, so what’s the problem?
I think this first trailer immediately shows what has long been considered a reality: Uncharted as a game series doesn’t have much to offer. Take part in some amazing action scenes, the charismatic wannabe of Indiana Jones and voila, you have Uncharted Games. It’s not like these games have always been known for their incredible story or emotional depth. It’s about weird action scenes and the occasional single line that makes you laugh.
These are exactly the items that are in great numbers in the trailer for the movie that was released on Thursday. Well, Tom Holland still looks like a guy, and Mark Wahlberg – who plays Sully – certainly isn’t known for his excellent acting performance, but does that even matter if the core of the Uncharted games almost perfectly imitates her? Although he doesn’t look like the Nathan Drake we love, no one can deny that Holland is also a charismatic boy. And did you see all those maps and chases and his beige shirt? This is just plain anonymous guys.
Please note: I am not claiming that Uncharted will be good. I claim Uncharted Games get the photography they deserve: a dumb job for the fans. In a playable form, it offers some of the best games of the past 15 years, thanks in part to the beautiful graphics, very smooth gameplay, and diverse locations. Uncharted games make you feel like you’re starring in an adventure movie on your own. However, that doesn’t mean that this translates into a good movie in an equally impressive way.
This is where the tension lies in this movie, and at the same time most game modifications ever released: good games don’t make good movies. This makes sense, because the acting and plot in a regular game aren’t nearly as important as the acting and plot in a regular movie. These items must carry a movie (or series), while the game has another trump card: interaction. Interacting with what is happening on the screen turns a relatively superficial situation into an exciting intent, precisely because you are in control of it.
Most game movies want to stay fairly true to the source material – if you can’t even get game fans onto the board, there’s very little audience left – but the problem is that a lot of that source material isn’t. Particularly suitable for film adaptation. In movies and series, we want to go to another world, full of interesting characters, dialogues and plot twists, but in games, all this mainly serves an interesting gameplay. Here’s why most game movies are a bit disappointing – a fate that could befall Uncharted as well.
Before showing the movie, let’s not judge too harshly. There is nothing wrong with a stupid action movie, just as there is nothing wrong with stupid action games. Allowing yourself to be entertained by simple action mixed with humor is a legitimate hobby. Leave that emotional depth to the film adaptation of the other Naughty Dog game, The Last of Us. Once you can get over the fact that actress Bella Ramsay doesn’t look like Elle, of course…
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