When it comes to treasure hunting stories, I’m always on the hunt for a good one. Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, National Treasure, even the long-absent (but not forgotten) TV series Blood & Treasure are my bread and butter. So while I’ve never played the video games on which Uncharted (already out of theaters and available for VOD) is loosely based, it landed on my radar.
Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is a guy with a rough past doing the best he can. He’s a slick bartender with an obnoxious passion for history, and an even slicker pickpocket, conman, and parkour master. Sort of a Tom Cruise crossed with Spider-Man. An orphan and separated from his older brother, who he idolized, Drake is alone in the world. When he’s approached by Victor “Sully” Sullivan, (Mark Wahlberg) about a $5 billion score, it’s personal reasons that draw him: the hunt is for the lost treasure of Drake’s ancestor, Ferdinand Magellan.
First, they need to acquire an ancient artifact going up for auction. Of course they don’t have the money to get it legally, and even if they did they would have to outbid the fabulously wealthy Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), whose family funded Magellan. He also feels that any treasure is his by birthright and will murder his own father if he tries to stop him from finding it. Drake and Sully’s heist is nearly thwarted by Moncada’s henchwoman, Braddock (Tati Gabrielle), and they narrowly escape.
Let the globetrotting begin!
Drake and Sully still don’t trust each other, and the tension is increased with the addition of a third member to the team, Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali), who has the second artifact they need. The trio form an uneasy alliance, only engaging in metaphorical backstabbing. Moncada’s team resorts to (mostly bloodless, but still unsettling) throat slitting. Our heroes kill a few nameless bad guys themselves and spew more four-letter words and blasphemies than the villains. Nothing off the charts, though, keeping this in PG-13 territory.
“If something’s lost, it can be found,” says the last postcard Drake received from his brother. It’s not the treasure Drake needs, but a connection to his only family that drives him. One can’t help but think of the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10), where the woman rejoices over the recovery of her treasure. Jesus reminds us that as happy as a woman in that situation would be, it can’t compare to the celebration of the angels when a sinner repents. As fantastic as treasure is, a reunited family is worth far more.