At the world premiere of ‘The Lost City’ at SXSW, directors Aaron and Adam Nee fully admitted that their newest film was inspired by hit movies of the 1980s like ‘Romancing the Stone’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. It was an admission that would otherwise be obvious just from watching the movie’s trailer. Which is par for the course for a genre that is often packed with romance, intrigue, and unnecessarily complicated comedic situations.
‘The Lost City’ opens with Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock), a reclusive romance-adventure novelist who is tasked with writing the next adventure in her very successful book series. Loretta is pressured by her publicist (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) to kick off a book tour along with the book’s cover model, Alan (Channing Tatum). Tension arises when many of Loretta’s fans care more for her cover model than what Loretta has to say about her book. Loretta storms off, but is quickly kidnapped by Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), an eccentric billionaire who believes that the lost city Loretta writes about in her book is in fact real. Fairfax believes Loretta knows where it is and flies her to a remote island in search of it. Alan witnesses the kidnapping and attempts to rescue her.
As the audience, we are transported to a jungle that is full of danger and ancient civilizations. Inept and unskilled, Alan enlists the help of a highly trained and gorgeous ex-Navy Seal (Brad Pitt) who realistically fits the bill of Loretta’s fictional hero. Chaos ensues and all of our main characters are thrust into precarious plotlines that include leeches, ancient riddles, and natural disasters.
So much of ‘The Lost City’ can be seen in the movie’s trailer, but that’s only a piece of this comedic puzzle. Pretty much what you expect this movie to be, it delivers in fantastic ways. A fun romp through the jungle that leads to romance and action-adventure, combined with the physical comedy of some of today’s finest actors. As the story unfolds, the situations that every character finds themselves in become more ridiculous and laughable, with a slight hint of charm.
All of the actors in this film play their roles to elevate the film to comedic perfection. Daniel Radcliffe, while not the obvious choice to play a villain, pulls it off with grace mixed with mania. Brad Pitt is a standout, while Bullock and Tatum keep the story moving with banter and humility. No one takes themselves too seriously, and all of them look great doing it.
This is a great film to suspend disbelief for an hour and 45 minutes, while scratching that itch that the great action-adventure films of the 1980s once gave us.
Ticket rating: 🎟🎟🎟🎟