Renowned actor Nathan Fillion has always been the undisputed choice by gamers all over the world as the live-action Nathan Drake. Being a fan of the franchise himself, Fillion has been strongly campaigning to be cast as the fan-favourite adventurer. Recently, he took matters into his own hands and together with his friend and film director Allan Ungar, he produced a 15-minute live action film. The film was uploaded on Ungar's YouTube channel on July 16.
Instead of recreating the games, the film creates its own story set in Baja Peninsula, Mexico. Nathan Drake has been captured by a group of thugs who believe he has stolen an invaluable artefact. Nathan continues to deny stealing the artefact and cracks hilarious one-liners while being tortured. Later it is revealed that Nathan intentionally got himself captured so that he can steal some letters by Afonso de Albuquerque, the famous Portuguese conqueror, from the mansion he's being held in. Nathan manages to break himself free and subdue the thugs around him. He collects the letters but has to escape quickly since reinforcements have arrived. This ensues a shootout between the thugs and Nathan who is trying to buy some time for Sullivan to arrive with the escape vehicle. After escaping successfully, Nathan is seen talking with Sully and Elena and planning their next adventure in the Philippines.
Being an unofficial fan film, time and budget were major constraints in the making of this film. However, that did not stop the film from achieving what it wanted to. The film captures the essence of the franchise down to every last detail. All Uncharted games start with a quote from an adventurer. The film also plays homage to this by starting with a quote from Afonso de Albuquerque, whose bracelet is the artefact in question. The transitions between “cutscenes” and action scenes have also been handled gracefully. During these transitions, the camera slowly pans to Nathan's back and the cinematic letterboxes disappear just like they would in the games. The camera also repeatedly zooms in and out to imitate the aiming mechanic from the games. The production design in this film has also been excellent since we get to see exact replicas of items from the games such as Nathan's beige pants or Sully's red 4-wheeler.
Neil Druckmann, the director of the first three Uncharted games, has said that for an Uncharted movie to be successful it needs to get the relationships between the characters right. Though we only get to see the relationship between Nathan and Sully in this film, we can clearly see that the filmmakers have kept Druckmann's statement in mind. The highlight of this film has to be Nathan Fillion himself who delivers what is undoubtedly the most accurate live-action portrayal of a videogame character ever. He manages to perfectly mimic Drake's personality, facial expressions and movements.
Historically, video game movies have suffered from poor plots, deviation from the source material and inaccurate casting. This 15-minute film breaks the cycle by coming up with a plot that retains its uniqueness while staying true to the source material and also by putting great care into the casting and production design.
Nony Khondaker is an introvert who complements his non-existent social life with video games, Netflix and a whole lot of ice-cream. Send him memes and cat videos to cheer him up at fb.com/NonyKhondaker