TL;DR – While this is not charting any new ground narratively, the solid work from the cast makes it an enjoyable romp through the jungle.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
The Lost City Review –
There is a group of films that fit within the ‘romantic-comedy’ genre that I think you may have watched before. This is where two people not in a couple are dropped into a life-or-death situation and must learn how to get along with each other or more by the time the film has finished. They can be good like Romancing the Stone and My Fellow Americans, and well, they can be not so good. Today, we are looking at a film that hits all the main points of this world and manages to shine due to a cast committed to the chaos.
So to set the scene, Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a prevalent romance author. However, she has been stuck with writer’s block since her archaeologist husband passed away. She put together a new book for her agent Beth Hatten (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), but her heart was not in it, and even less so in the book tour that she had to go on to promote it. Sensing this, Beth asks the popular model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum), who has been the cover model for all of Loretta’s books, to come along to boost attendance at the events. That also goes poorly, but as Lorretta is leaving, she is kidnapped by reclusive billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe). For you see, as an undergrad, Loretta was an expert in a small Indigenous people’s group in the Atlantic and incorporated that work into her novel. Abigail is after a lost treasure from those people, and Loretta might be the only one who can help him.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I walked in to watch this film. Many films that have dabbled in this area recently, like Uncharted, had left me feeling disappointed, but there was a strong cast behind this work. What I got was a surprisingly fun watch from start to finish. Indeed, it was nice to just laugh for a couple of hours in a fun romp through the jungle. However, I must say that the flagrant destruction of cheese was distressing.
The reason this film works as well as it does is in that cast. Everybody knows what type of film they are in and plays to that angle. This decision gives the film a levity that makes every moment a delight. Sandra Bullock just owns every moment she is in. She always lands her mark from the fish-out-of-water moments to the romp-through-the-forest moments. Channing Tatum plays into a fictionalised persona of what many people think he is. This only works because Channing is clearly in on the joke, so he can make it work no matter the extreme. Indeed, one of the film’s best parts was the chemistry between the two leads. Supporting we have Daniel Radcliffe and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who make every scene better by being there. Indeed, even though this is a pretty standard narrative, the cast makes it shine.
If I had one thing, I wish they had looked at it a bit more. It was the role of colonialism and how it plays into narratives like this. I bring this up because clearly, the film understands this, and there are a couple of plot points here and there that hint at something a bit more, but they never coalesce into something. Given all the foregrounding that they do, it felt like a bit of a missed opportunity.
In the end, do we recommend The Lost City? Yes, yes, we do. I don’t think it was a revolutionary film, but any stretch of the imagination. However, the cast is having fun, which is always a bonus, and even if there were a couple too many ‘D’ jokes, it was still funny from start to finish. If you liked The Lost City, we would recommend to you Top End Wedding.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Lost City
Directed by – Adam Nee & Aaron Nee
Story by – Seth Gordon
Screenplay by – Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, Adam Nee & Aaron Nee
Music by – Pinar Toprak
Cinematography by – Jonathan Sela
Edited by – Craig Alpert
Production/Distribution Companies – Fortis Films, 3dot Productions, Exhibit A & Paramount Pictures
Starring – Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nunez, Bowen Yang, Joan Pringle, Thomas Forbes-Johnson & Héctor Aníbal
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13