CINEMA “Uncharted”: adventures, treasures and Catholic iconography

Tom Holland and Mark Whalberg star in this video game adaptation

“Uncharted”, an adventure film with Tom Holland and Mark Whalberg, is inspired by a series of very popular video games where Catholic elements are the key to their plots and enigmas. Let’s see some examples:

The brothers at the beginning have been raised in a Christian orphanage run by nuns. The crosses they must find also serve as keys that open doors to passageways and hidden chambers, in true Tomb Rider style. References to Heaven and Hell and the Scriptures and some Commandments are included.

The heroes enter temples to access the secrets that can lead them to the treasure of Ferdinand Magellan.

In the film we see the Church of Santa María del Pi, located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. In the background, and in the same city, we also see the Sagrada Familia in a crucial scene in which the father of the villain Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) tells him that he does not have faith in his son, but in Him.

Greatness comes from small beginnings

In the prologue we see those brothers, Sam and Nathan Drake, a teenager and a child, trying to steal Magellan’s map. They claim that they have pirate blood in their veins because they are descended from Sir Francis Drake.

When they are caught during the robbery, the eldest manages to escape to avoid possible entry into prison and tells his brother that one day he will come back for him. He also gives her his personal amulet, a ring that reads “Sic Parvis Magna” (“Greatness comes from small beginnings”).

Years later Nathan (Tom Holland) works as a waiter and also earns extra money with petty theft. In previous years, Nate received many postcards from his brother, but they have not seen each other again nor does he know anything about him and that separation continues to weigh on him because it is and was his only family.

That’s when Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) appears, a hustler who knows Sam and asks Nathan to help him find Magellan’s treasure. The bait with which Sully lures him is simple: if they find the gold, they may also find his brother.

Thus, both embark on a total adventure that includes temples, catacombs, caves, museums, palaces, auction houses, old ships and, of course, villains (Moncada and his hit men). There are also two strong women, one on each side: Chloe (Sophia Ali) and Jo (Tati Gabrielle), capable of using all possible tricks to earn their way to gold.

Faith in adventure as a pure genre

Some critics used to playing “Uncharted” reproach those responsible for the film that the Catholic themes are only a background, and do not delve into them as in video games.

But, in my opinion, “Uncharted” is intended to be a return to classic adventure cinema, unpretentious and shot to offer us entertainment. And that is why, in this sense, the film delivers what it promises. Although it does not go into depth, the elements (churches, crosses, altars) and the allusions (God, Heaven, faith) are present.

Its director, Ruben Fleischer, is someone with a trade, used to delight the viewer: there are “Welcome to Zombieland” and sequel, “Venom” and “Gangster Squad” to prove it. So that we understand each other: «Uncharted» does not reach the level of, for example, a Tintin or an Indiana Jones, and yet it is superior to «Tomb Rider» or «The search». It amuses and distracts without reaching the level of Spielberg.

For those of us who have faith in adventure as a redeeming genre for the human being, «Uncharted» also fulfills its mission, since the background ends up being the important thing: Nathan manages to make Victor improve, to somehow redeem himself and abandon his selfishness and his greed; both will learn that the treasure is not always money, but concepts such as friendship and brotherhood.

And the cast is consistent. Tom Holland fights back, but he reminds us a lot of Spiderman and his stunts. They are Mark Wahlberg (in his facet of comic hero) and Antonio Banderas (a slightly wasted villain) who stand out above the rest.

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CINEMA “Uncharted”: adventures, treasures and Catholic iconography

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