The Lost City ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
A reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure. Out in cinemas now.
The Lost City tells the story of a writer of cheesy romance and adventure stories (Sandra Bullock), who finds herself victim of kidnap and is forced to embark on mission, not unlike the ones in her books, paired up with a man she doesn’t really like.
If this premise sounds familiar, is because you’re probably thinking of Romancing the Stone, which pretty much shares the same plot (but who cares when the target audience might not even have heard of it?)
Directors/co-writers (and siblings) Aaron Nee & Adam Nee are clearly trying to evoke those classic treasure-hunting capers from the ‘80s, ripping off ideas and themes left and right.
The film even starts with two people locked up in an old tomb surrounded by snake, in an obvious “homage” to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It never really takes itself too seriously (though that should not really be an excuse for not making much sense), prioritising the comedy over the actual thrills and adventures. This may pay dividends when the jokes land, and some of them really do, alas the overall result is a mix bag because when the film runs out of steams (and laughs), all you’re with are some sub-standard action set pieces, which eventually make it look more like The Mummy with Brendan Fraser, than an actual Indiana Jones flick. For that we’re going to have to wait another year, and I’ve got my fingers crossed!
Mercifully, the top-notch cast saves the day. Next to the always likeable and reliable Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum plays the hunky cover model from her books who, while he may look the part, is actually closer to being the damsel in distress rather than the dashing hero one might expect and in typical role-reversal fashion, he even take his shirt off a lot (in fact more than that, if you’re interested).
The two of them have good comedic timing and even if their appropriately awkward chemistry is a bit hit and miss (just like the rest of the film) and their bickering gets a tiny bit repetitive, there’s no denial that The Lost City rests on their shoulders and is eventually saved by them.
In a quite a random piece of miscasting (possibly intentional, though I couldn’t tell) Daniel Radcliffe plays the baddie of the piece: an annoying and rather petulant billionaire with a squeaky voice, who’s after the “lost city” from the title.
Even Brad Pitt has an extended cameo, which is fun even if it seems to belong to a different movie altogether.
To conclude, just like Uncharted a few months ago, Lost City ends up being another of those dispensable movies, with some good stars, enjoyable to watch in the moment (I was never bored), but just like its bland title, it is pretty uninspired and forgettable the moment you’ll leave the cinema (or more likely, turn off your streaming platform when it comes out in a few months).
For now though, it’s playing on the big screen.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali
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