Bullock and Tatum find a comedic home in ‘The Lost City’ (review)

I’m the first guy who will tell you that, normally, romantic comedies aren’t for him. I’m the type of person who looks for action, suspense, intense dramas, and most of all horrific horrors. I usually balk at the presence of being offered to watch one at home, let alone paying to go see one in theaters. It’s just a personal choice. So when presented with an opportunity to review the latest in a long line of love tropes and one-lined cliches, I almost cringed at the thought. Thankfully, I’m glad I didn’t pass this up.

In The Lost City, brilliant but reclusive author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) has spent her career writing about exotic places in her popular romance-adventure novels featuring handsome cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), who has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, “Dash.” While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes that she can lead him to the ancient lost city’s treasure from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it’s lost forever.

Although I’m not fond of cheesy premises that are used as backdrops for some misogynistic alpha male to swoop in and save the damsel in distress, I almost missed the forest for the trees with this film. Sandra Bullock, grieving the loss of her belated husband, shares many authentic and meaningful moments that I seemed out of character for some rom-coms. Watching as the film creates this space for an actual conversation about losing loved ones and processing through those times almost made me forget I was watching a movie that had Channing Tatum act as a Fabio-type character. Her well-rounded journey through self-isolation and giving up coupled with the ridiculous comedic timing of the film balanced each other quite nicely.

“You do know you’re not Dash, right? Dash is a character I made up!”

Speaking of coupled, Channing Tatum as the aloof cover model turned fumbling rescuer extraordinaire created great moments of levity to each scene that made me laugh. His ability to turn up the chuckles with quickness produced fun scenes that made the pair seem like a classic comedic duo.

But what dastardly villainous movie would be complete without its dastardly villain? Daniel Radcliffe creates a perfect Jekyll and Hyde persona of a charming British gentleman with a needy Napoleonic sibling. Every moment his patience (and supply of cheese) gets shorter, his mood continues to spiral downward into madness, and I loved every minute of it. Radcliffe has such versatility, and this role was no exception.

“What is this, Taken? Am I Tooken?”

Although I’d love to sit here and say I’m a changed man for the genre, there were still a few hiccups. The CGI seemed ok throughout the movie until the climax of the final act, where it seemed that the background CG may have been moving at different frames per second than the foreground. It did seem a bit disorienting and sadly took me out of the movie in those moments. Other moments like obvious exposition and minor love tropes paired with ridiculous action sequences are kind of to be expected, even though every part that Brad Pitt was in was 24 karat magic in the air, period. So he made up for those.

Overall, The Lost City was an amusing and fun ride that I didn’t expect to enjoy. Much like a trip to the dentist that ends up as a trip to a frozen yogurt shop, it’s wasn’t the greatest experience I’ve ever had, but it’s much better than what it could have been. I know that I can proudly say that I would recommend this film to the people in my life that really rave about flicks like this, and not have to give the caveat “But I wouldn’t watch it.” I had a lot more fun than I anticipated, and I believe if given the chance, I know you will too.

Rating: 3/5 atoms

Facebook Comments