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The Lost City (A Movie Review)


Starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Brad Pitt, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nuñez, Raymond Lee, Adam Nee, Bowen Yang, Joan Pringle, Thomas Forbes-Johnson, Héctor Aníbal, Katherine Montes, Danny Radhames Vasquez Castillo and Marcos Sánchez.

Screenplay by Oren Uziel and Dana Fox and Adam Nee & Aaron Nee.

Directed by Adam Nee & Aaron Nee.

Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13.

There is no real point in trying to review The Lost City.

The Lost City is kind of cheesy, very silly, and at the same time it is often a lot of fun. And you know what? That’s okay. Not everything has to be a masterpiece. There is a place in the world for light, frivolous entertainment, and that for sure is exactly what this film is.

The Lost City is romantic comedy and a parody of romance novels and adventure films. It features two old pros in the leads that could play these roles in their sleep. It also features a good-natured cameo by an A-list star. There is some stunning scenery, flashy wardrobe choices, a lot of gratuitous explosions and a will-they-or-won’t they relationship.

If you’ve seen a single romantic comedy, you know where all of this is going, but that doesn’t mean that it is not worth the trip.

The film stars Sandra Bullock – in her uptight mode – as Loretta, a popular romance novelist whose heart has been broken by the death of her ex-husband a few years earlier. She had a terrible time writing her latest book because of this – in fact, she basically gave up on it without a real ending – and she is resisting her agent’s attempt to bring her on a book tour.

Also appearing on the tour is Alan, the model who has adorned all of her book covers – a slightly dumb himbo in a Fabio wig who has a bit of a crush on her. Channing Tatum has been playing this type of role – the handsome-but-dumb dude with a good heart – pretty often in the last decade or so, and in fairness to him, he is good at putting a little flesh on the stereotype.

As I said, there is nothing really new here, but Bullock and particularly Tatum throws themselves so gamely into the characters, and they are so effortlessly charming, that you can’t help but fall under the film’s spell.

The Lost City is loosely reminiscent of the 1980s adventure comedy Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. It throws a woman who has becomes spoiled with her leisurely life into an adventure she is not ready for – and has no real reason to really be there – and through the experience she regains her mojo.

Brad Pitt shows up for a bit in a good-natured parody of himself. Daniel Radcliffe continues flexing his comic muscles as the evil millionaire who kidnaps the author in the vain assumption that because she writes about finding lost treasures that she can actually track them down for real.

Also fun are Da'Vine Joy Randolph (from Only Murders in the Building) as the brassy agent and Patti Harrison as a completely tone-deaf social media specialist.

Large swaths of the story and characterization don’t exactly make sense. Alan goes from dumb to kinda smart way too quickly, as does Loretta go from icy to rather warm. It’s a huge stretch that she could be the only person in the world who can decipher some ancient runes. And how exactly does her agent just run across them in some strange river in the middle of a rain forest?

However, you’re not watching The Lost City for logic or sense. You’re watching for fun, some laughs and a little bit of romance. Mission accomplished.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2022 All rights reserved. Posted: March 25, 2022.


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