No clever segue, but… some information for the otherwise uninitiated.
This short film is hailed from a celebrated video game series of the same name, “Uncharted,” spanning, I believe, a four main video games from the Playstation 3 and 4, and likely more than a couple of spin-offs. The stories follow Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who is charismatic, daring, passionate, excitable, adventurous, funny, dashing, and all sorts of adjectives and adverbs. Basically, he’s a modern day Indiana Jones. The games are critically acclaimed and beloved by gamers everywhere. I’ve even had the fortune of playing through UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES (2009). I wish I played through the entire franchise, but the PS3 I was playing on wasn’t my own.
A proper live-action movie has been in development hell for a good long time now, dating back as far as 2009, around the time of the second game, if I do recall accurately, and was going to star Mark Wahlberg. He has since left the project and haven’t heard much in the way of progress ever since. I think it was about last year (2017) that the Uncharted film has made some traction and will star SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017) star Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake, but no release date or anything more than that. So while we’re waiting, we have this fan film to hold us over.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Nathan Fillion (CARS 3 , and upcoming films THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN  and NOMIS ), Stephen Lang (HOSTILES , DON’T BREATHE , and upcoming films MORTAL ENGINES  and AVATAR 2 ), Geno Segers (1 episode of CASTLE , and the upcoming MISCHIEF UPON MISCHIEF ), Mircea Monroe (BOOK CLUB , FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK , and the upcoming GRACE ), Ernie Reyes Jr. (INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL  and RUSH HOUR 2 ).
Now for the crew. Directing, editing, and co-writing is Allan Ungar, known for a bunch of stuff I’ve not seen or heard of. Ungar’s partner-in-pen is Jesse Wheeler, known for stuff I’ve not seen or heard of. Finally, the co-composing the score are Aaron Gilhuis (stuff I’ve not seen or heard of, and the upcoming SPECIAL INTEREST AGENT ) and Jacob Shea (stuff I’ve not seen or heard of). Finally, the cinematographer is Alex Chinnici, known for stuff I’ve not seen or heard of, and the upcoming NIGHTHAWKS (2018).
This is my honest opinion of: UNCHARTED (fan film)
Nathan Drake (Nathan Fillion) has been captured for stealing a priceless artifact from a private auction that the buyer wants back. However, Nathan manages to break free from his binds and fights his way out to safety to meet his partners, the elderly Sully (Stephen Lang) and Elena (Mircea Monroe).
Yeah, I had fun with this.
I am more than certain that Nathan Fillion has been raising his hand to play the live-action role of Nathan Drake for years now, but Hollywood does what Hollywood does best and ignores what audiences want. The point is, I will always be an advocate for Fillion to play this role. It’s everything he’s done before. Smart-ass, bad-ass, hilarious, as well as doing a fantastic job with dramatic turns, so why the hell not?
Now that we have gotten our wish, it’s pretty great. Nathan Drake is done wonderful justice. Fillion’s comedic remarks, his timing, his subtle nervousness, his intelligence, Fillion nails it beautifully and makes it feel natural. Also, the casting of Stephen Lang as Sully, genius. I think that the video game Sully had a bit more hair, but if that’s the worst thing to complain about, then I’d say he’s spot on.
Now, I could go on and on about how cheap the action scenes are, but this is obviously made on a pretty small budget, so I have to critique on a scale here. With that said, I do enjoy Nathan ripping off a henchman’s hair and getting grossed out by it, proceeding immediately to throwing it at another dude. Although I do find it a cheap gag to hold out an arm against El Tigre to prevent him from attacking him like a school bully keeping away a nerdy kid. That would never be found in an Uncharted game.
And once the gunplay scene rolls around, it’s pretty flawless initiated, getting the slow zoom out, then back in, which in the game signifies control for the player. The scene itself isn’t the best directed, as anyone who played the game would immediately find cover before shooting back, but it’s pretty brief and doesn’t really hamper the entertainment.
My final, semi-complaint, was having Elena played by Mircea Monroe, instead of the real actress, Emily Rose, who was the face and voice of Elena in the video game and has also lobbied to play the live-action version of her character. I wonder if anyone even bothered to give her a call. Still Monroe does a solid job. She berates Nathan, like she always does, and sure looks the part, albeit with darker blond hair (what is with me and hair-complaints in this review).
Overall, I enjoyed myself and even though it’s a pipe dream to see a feature film of this, I really hope that this goes the way of Deadpool and gets made. It’s got a few flaws here and there, but it’s still a fun ride for what it is. This little short film has my seal of approval. Nathan Fillion IS Nathan Drake.
My honest rating for UNCHARTED (fan film): 4/5
This week’s reviews:
- THE EQUALIZER 2
- UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB
- MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
- PRINCESS MONONOKE (1997)
Next week’s reviews: