Friday, December 3, 2010

Uncharted? Uninterested.

OK, this is my last post about the Uncharted movie - I promise. I vented previously about the ridiculous choice of Marky Mark Wahlberg for the role of Nathan Drake. Yesterday, Destructoid pointed me to an article in the L.A. Times where director David O. Russell talked about his "vision" for the movie. I can already tell I'm not going to like it from the very first paragraph:

Fans of the video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune have been intrigued since the moment David O. Russell committed to direct the film -- if nothing else, it's a chance for a quirky auteur and surehanded filmmaker to shake up the beleaguered videogame-to-movie genre.

(Hurriedly googles auteur... OK) Apparently, this quirky auteur genius is already halfway done with the script, "it's a locomotive!" says he.  The article continues:

While the video game centers on Nate Drake (a descendant of Sir Francis Drake) and his quest to find lost treasure on an island far from civilization, Russell plans on expanding the movie to include Drake's extended family -- and put them in fraught, globetrotting situations with some of the world's most influential people.  "This idea really turns me on that there's a family that's a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities ... [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice."

I already heard that this giant of a director was putting his own stamp on the story by inventing an uncle and father for Drake, but now it's starting to sound like the pilot for a bad 80's TV series. The auteur Russell is apparently planning to remold the characters and story to be more in line with his previous movies. "We'll have the family dynamic, which we've done in a couple of movies now." That's fine Spielberg, but this doesn't really sound much like Uncharted anymore. And I've already seen National Treasure and (God help me) National Treasure 2.

Ah, but then Russell waxes poetic, "And then you take that and put it on the bigger, more muscular stage of an international action picture, but also put all the character stuff in it. That's a really cool idea to me." The musings of the immortal bard - timeless.  All you film students out there, this is where you should be taking notes. In your work, please be sure to put all that really cool character stuff in it.

I'm not saying Uncharted is Gone With the Wind, but if they are going to buy the rights and stamp the name on it shoudn't they at least try to be true to the characters and mood of the game if not the story itself?  It bugs me when these egomaniacal Hollywood knuckleheads cook up these "reimaginings" of established stories and characters that I care about just to put their own stamp on them. And it doesn't even sound like this particular knucklehead is even creative - just going to churn out more cliche-ridden swill. This movie has officially gone from one that I likely would have watched in the theatre to one that I probably won't even watch when it comes on cable TV a month later. And so, to close the subject forever on this blog, I leave you with an actual leaked scene from the movie:

Nathan stumbled forward into the flickering light of the torch. Still groggy from the explosion, he steadied himself against the wall of the underground cavern.
"Ha! Son, I haven't seen you walk like that since you took your first steps back on the farm."
Nathan rolled his eyes. "Dad!  We don't have time for this. We've got 48 hours to get the Statue of Liberty back to the Smithsonian or we're all dead!"
"Quiet you two!  Listen..."
Nathan and his father turn to face Barack Obama.  "What is it President Barack Obama?" they ask in unison.
"It's quiet..." Obama responds.  "A little too quiet."
Queen Elizabeth steps forward into the light.  "He's right.  I've got a bad feeling about this."
Then a rumble can be heard in the distance. It rapidly grows to a roar. Suddenly, a huge boulder bursts forth from the darkness, barreling toward the group.
Drake reaches down and grabs Queen Elizabeth's hand, "C'mon your majesty - we gotta go NOW!".
Queen Elizabeth jumps up and takes off in a mad dash toward the edge of the chasm. "I'm gettin too old for this shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!"

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Fallguy40 said...

Wow, talk about effin up what is already a very theatrical game.

MadPlanet said...

I've basically lost all interest in it at this point other than the puerile fun of deriding it.

Fallguy40 said... is reporting that the director is now denying the casting of Mark Wahlberg and the whole "envisioning Drake's family of fortune hunters" stuff.

Let's hope this is true.

MadPlanet said...

Well I saw the written quotes and Wahlberg's on-screen interview about it so I'm not sure how reliable Joystiq is to the contrary. But I'll definitely keep my fingers crossed!