Lost City, The | movie reviews

The lost city is probably best considered a romantic comedy spiced up with adventure elements rather than the other way around. Either way, it’s passably sweet entertainment, but just as it’s unlikely to stick in your throat, it won’t hold a place in memory either. The generic-sounding title is appropriate for the material. The term “popcorn movie” somehow seems too substantial for a project like this, which relies on the likability of the protagonists and the chemistry between them. A better descriptor might be “cotton candy movie.”

Those old enough to remember will notice similarities between The lost city and 1984 Romanticize the stone, which incorporated a love story between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner into an Indiana Jones-inspired scavenger hunt. Although the details are different, the basic model remains the same. In this case, Sandra Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a popular widowed author who lost her zest for life after the death of her archaeologist husband. When her editor/publisher, Beth Hatten (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), presses her for the latest episode of her popular series, Loretta complies with minimal enthusiasm. She tours the books with even less taste. She’s joined in the nationwide marketing frenzy by Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum), the male model who inspired the macho lead on the cover of each of Loretta’s 20 books. What she doesn’t realize is that, despite all her posing and preening, Alan has a crush on her.

The potentially boring tour takes a turn for the adventurers when Loretta is kidnapped by Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), a billionaire who discovered The Lost City of D but needs Loretta to translate an ancient piece of manuscript that would reveal the location of D. a hidden treasure. Initially, Abigail comes across as an affable eccentric but, over time, darker tendencies emerge. Meanwhile, Beth and Alan stage a rescue. Alan hires a former special ops agent, Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt), to perform Lorretta’s extraction. Shortly after, with Loretta out of Abigail’s clutches, she and Alan are forced through an unforgiving jungle to find civilization with a group of dirty goons hot on their trail. Obstacles along the way include Alan having a problem with water leeches (resulting in persistent staring at Tatum’s or a double’s butt), Loretta having difficulty climbing in a sequin-themed dress. disco and the cold of the jungle once the sun goes down.

Alas, while there’s fun to be had in Loretta and Alan’s interactions and the all-too-short interlude with Brad Pitt is a hoot, the film‘s adventure elements are on autopilot. The more co-directors (and brothers) Adam and Aaron Nee delve into the action/thriller aspects, the less engaging things become. Although Daniel Radcliffe does his best to foam at the mouth and act deranged, he’s pretty ordinary when the psychopaths arrive, and the entire subplot featuring Beth chasing its missing author could have been excised. It doesn’t work – the Lynchian weirdness is shockingly irrelevant.

The lost city may be designed primarily with one demographic in mind (older women), but it will likely also work for any viewer, regardless of gender or age. It’s easy to digest and, although some of the less successful elements can test patience from time to time, the friendly chemistry – slimy banter mixed with a romantic thrill – between Bullock (who is much better in this kind of part than his more serious releases) and Tatum mitigates many difficulties. The gender-switching of character roles is fun, although Alan can do little more than stand and offer eye candy (and he’s self-aware enough to recognize he’s the “damsel in distress”). But, while the promise of a true jungle adventure is lost as much as the title town, as a fun throwaway quickly heads to Paramount+, The lost city is a passable diversion.

Lost City, The (USA, 2022)

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