With few honorable exceptions, fans of the video game world usually count transfers to the big screen as tremendous disappointments, in part, due to an industry stubborn in replicating the original formulas —and effects on the player— in a radically different narrative medium. , let alone visceral and immersive. This is why the simple idea of taking the ‘Uncharted’ saga to the cinema gave me chills.
With the publication of the splendid and groundbreaking ‘Drake’s Treasure’ fifteen years ago, the infallible Naughty Dog team managed to bring cinema and videogames closer than ever —something that would go much further in future sequels—, squeezing every last drop of the power of the PlayStation 3 and evoking the most classic adventure cinema through some tremendously charismatic characters, a script full of surprises and a concept of action rarely seen before.
All these elements, added to the insurmountable differentiator of interactivity, turned the adaptation of ‘Uncharted’ into a mission doomed, a priori, to failure. But Ruben Flesischer, fully aware of the nature of the project, has reformulated the keys that have made Nathan Drake’s digital exploits great, taking them to his field and transforming them into a model blockbuster, respectful of its source of inspiration and tremendously funny.
Sic Parvis Magna
Since it debuted in 2007, I have fully enjoyed each and every one of the installments of the ‘Uncharted’ saga, I have adored each and every one of its protagonists and I have been speechless on many occasions with the control pad between my hands. Keeping so much love and having so internalized the work of Amy Hennig, Neil Druckmann and company could have been a huge stick in the wheel when facing the title that concerns us, but it has only enriched an experience that has kept me with a huge smile on his face during his very tight 116 minutes of footage.
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This has been largely thanks to the way in which Ruben Fleischer and his army of writers – there are no less than five credited – have chosen to take components of the four numbered playable parts and integrate them into a new story that works perfectly as a prequel. , which is seasoned with a good handful of easter-eggs that will delight the patrons, and which captures the entire essence of Naughty Dog’s work.
Of course, the latter is achieved primarily through the characters; and despite the fact that it is evident that Tom Holland is not the polygonal Nathan Drake played by Nolan North, the Briton has managed to transfer to this rejuvenated version the charm, sarcasm and nobility so characteristic of good old Nate. Although, if someone steals all the spotlight of the function over him and a surprisingly successful Mark Wahlberg as Victor Sullivan -the absence of a mustache is the least of it-, that is Sophia Taylor Ali’s Chloe Frazer.
In regards to its form, ‘Uncharted’ fulfills everything that could be expected from a production of 120 million dollars based on an IP like this; beginning with an audiovisual invoice underpinned by the remarkable photography of Chung Chung-hoon —Park Chan-wook’s regular PDO and author of the magnificent ‘Last Night in Soho’— and by the forceful soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi, which does not prevent Greg Edmonson’s scores are missed, but he dresses some truly spectacular setpieces to perfection.
It is, ultimately, through its dosed, although widely satisfactory, action scenes where the film comes closest to its reference; and it does so both in the “stolen” ones —the brutal reinterpretation of the cargo plane from ‘Uncharted 3’— and in the original ones, highlighting some of the most dynamic choreographies and with an enviable sense of kinetics that the system of “luck” —not harm— of the games. So it’s nice to see Drake take hits in every conceivable way.
The inscription on the iconic ring that Nathan Drake wears on his pendant reads “Sic Parvis Magna”; something that, in Spanish, could be translated as “Greatness is born from small beginnings”. Well, if this ‘Uncharted’ is the “small beginning” of what, more than likely, will lead to a new franchise, the future could not be more promising. And, who would have thought that seeing Tom Holland wearing Drake’s holsters to the rhythm of ‘Nate’s Theme’ would give a skeptic of my stature the creeps.