At first glance “The Lost City”possesses all the hallmarks “Romancing the Stone”(and to a lesser extent its sequel). “The Jewel of the Nile”) repackaged for Millennials and Zoomers.
Sandra Bullock takes on the role of Kathleen Turner as a romance author who holds the secret to a mysterious hidden treasure. Daniel Radcliffe steps into the Danny DeVito part, albeit with more urbanity, as the novelist’s ruthless kidnapper with a passing Napoleon complex, who’s after said treasure. Brad Pitt fills in for Michael Douglas as a raffish man of adventure who comes to the novelist’s rescue — though here in a reduced capacity.
Channing Tatum would take the lead role alongside Bullock. His Fabio-esque character, which is a unique creation, helps the new film avoid any copyright claims.
At the prompting of her publisher, Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), the reclusive Loretta Sage (Bullock) reluctantly agrees to attend a convention with her cover model, Alan (Tatum). He is her fictitious character Dash incarnate — or so he and her fans think, much to her dismay. The occasion sees her wearing a tight sequined fuchsia jumpsuit. “wedgie in the back and in the front,”It was only for Loretta to laugh at the jokes, as Loretta struggles to talk to Bowen Yang (the moderator).
Billionaire Fairfax (Radcliffe) claims to be one of Loretta’s devotees and sticks Post-It Flags all throughout his copy of her book. He believes she can help him find the clue that will lead to the lost city and its treasures. He forcibly places her on his private plane and takes off. Alan sees Loretta missing and remembers meeting Jack Trainer (former Navy SEAL) at a meditation retreat called To Touch Your Inner Self. He believes he is the right man to help him. Thankfully, Loretta’s coordinates can be tracked because of her Apple Watch.
Alan, a delusional fool, follows his lead to show that he’s more than a pretty face. Meanwhile, before escaping, Loretta purloins Fairfax’s clue. She is so close to solving this mystery that she takes the time to grab the moment and go treasure hunting with Alan.
Bullock, who also produces, missed a great opportunity to make Loretta a bigger role. This role requires the same kind of performance Meryl Streep gave in “She-Devil”Instead, Bullock sticks to her screen-loving girl-next door persona. We’d root for her in a romcom because she doesn’t seem like the type who even believes in romance, much less authors romance novels. She’s funny here. But does her portrayal of herself ring true? Not quite.
Tatum plays the role of the himbo and does it exceptionally well. And he gets campy, especially when sporting the long blond Fabio wig and a billowy shirt, so at least one of the film’s two leads exhibits an understanding of the assignment. Bullock and he have great chemistry, almost Keanu Reeves-like.
Radcliffe is a brilliant choice for the role of the villain. But, honestly, he could use some more brooding scenery chewing. Pitt has a lot of fun in his role.
Audiences might enjoy the chance to be immersed in an adventure filled with exotic locales after two years of cloistering because of the pandemic. Although the Dominican Republic locations can be quite scenic, the visuals are somewhere in between. “Jungle Cruise” “Uncharted,”Recent entries in this genre.
Looking back “Romancing the Stone” “The Jewel of the Nile”The 1980s were full of offensive and grotesque racial stereotypes, including the Indiana Jones franchise. In this regard, “The Lost City”Its contemporaries are much less problematic. It is true at the moment. “The Lost City” offers better representation of characters of color, with Randolph and Oscar Nuñez receiving some memorable screen time.
Directors Adam Nee and Aaron Nee, who share screenwriting credits with Oren Uziel and Dana Fox, seem like odd choices on paper given their track record: 2006’s “The Last Romantic,” a New York–set microbudget indie comedy that bypassed a theatrical release, and 2015’s “Band of Robbers,”A modern reimagining “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”That brought home a meager $20,555 domestically. Visually, “The Lost City”It is a significant departure from the gritty style of their first films. The actors seem ready for this challenge.
This is a clear example of how they place entertainment quotient above plot plausibility. (Fairfax never gives Loretta a bathroom break while she’s held hostage, with no visible consequences.) The film’s first act is action-packed and quick-witted. It then switches gears to romance-novel mode. Unfortunately, “The Lost City” never manages to sustain or recover once Pitt’s rousing cameo is over. It’s still pleasant, though it’s unlikely to satisfy those thirsting for action and adventure.
“The Lost City”April 25, 2010 in US theatres