There’s a saying that goes something like “they don’t make movies like they used to.” Well, that’s sort of a good thing and a bad thing. While we may look back at action classics like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies and Romancing the Stone with fond memories, there are also some duds like Firewalker and Medicine Man. If you haven’t heard of those last two movies, that’s because they aren’t all that good. That’s what I mean when I said there were good and bad movies before; we just don’t really remember the bad ones because we blocked them out of our minds.
Well, it does feel like the very recently released film, the Lost City, does follow in the footsteps of those treasure hunting films of the past. Does it fall under the ones people will remember fondly or is it going to be something people will forcefully try to eject from their brain?
While this movie has already been out for a good while now, I still want to make this a SPOILER FREE review. I kind of have to because I feel a lot of people are on the fence if they should actually go stream it and spend 112-minutes of their time to watch it through the end. So, yeah, this will be a SPOILER FREE review.
Anyway, the Lost City revolves around romance author Dr. Loretta Sage publishing her latest book, The Lost City of D. She gets kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax who has read The Lost City of D and it shows Loretta Sage actually has intimate knowledge regarding the legendary city the book is based on. The book’s cover model, Alan Caprison, witnesses the kidnapping and, because of his infatuation with the author, rushes in headfirst for a rescue attempt.
While I have mentioned all of the characters’ proper names from the Lost City, I didn’t actually remember them. I had to look them up because all I saw were Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum on screen. It’s not like they gave bad performances or anything of the sort. It’s just that the characters they’re portraying have no real distinguishing traits to make them memorable. They all feel like the same caricatures they’ve been playing all throughout their careers.
Sandra Bullock is once again the bumbling awkward woman she’s been playing since Demolition Man and Speed. Channing Tatum is once again the lovable doofus who’s over his head. The only one I can say who doe try to break out of his mold is Danielle Radcliffe as he does play the villain in the Lost City. However, he does play a fairly generic rich and arrogant prick, which is something you’ve seen everywhere. Also, he’s kind of a boring main villain because he comes off a super non-threatening. Still, it must’ve been a nice change of pace for him.
The Lost City’s main plot feels like it borrows heavily from older adventure movies as it plunges a couple of hapless everyday folks into a rip-roaring adventure through the jungle. But there are a few modern twists thrown in and I actually like how they do mesh together classic adventure film storytelling with modern sensibilities and humor. It’s nothing really groundbreaking or unique. But I can’t also say I’ve seen this style done well in recent films.
A lot of the jokes work mainly because of Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. The two have surprising chemistry together and they manage to bounce off each other in, well, in an unrealistic way but in a way that still works for this adventure comedy. The humor, while not gut-bustingly hilarious, is worth a good chuckle and the one liners do work on a chuckle-worthy level. I can’t help but think both Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum were improvising a lot of their lines because of how organic their conversations felt at times.
Surprisingly, there does feel to be a lack of really blood-pumping action scenes in the Lost City. Thankfully, the ones that they do have are good. They’re nothing really spectacular as none of them have the grand spectacle of the most classic adventure comedy flicks from the past. They’re particularly low-key in that regard. However, I will say they are entertaining and they never really wear out their welcome.
What doesn’t work, however, are the more solemn and serious moments they decided to sprinkle throughout the film and the subplot of Sandra Bullock’s publicist trying to find her. The more dramatic moments don’t work because there really isn’t any payoff. They’re there to seemingly fill this prerequisite of some kind of character development. But, as these moments never go anywhere, it feels forced and unnecessary. The subplot of the publicist’s search for Sandra Bullock’s character also feel superfluous and could’ve just been written out completely and the story would’ve still worked out. It’s almost like the writers needed to pad the story and, while they did bring the film to a respectable 112-minute runtime, it really hurts the overall pacing because you just don’t care for it.
Despite all the issues I have with the film, I did find myself having a good time while watching the Lost City. It’s nothing I’ll actually categorize as a future classic nor will I even say it’s something that’s going to last the test of time. It’s entertaining for what it is: a fun action comedy. I hardly think it’ll be fondly remembered like we do with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Romancing the Stone. However, if someone does mention the Lost City, I think I’ll have some vague memory of me actually liking it. This isn’t exactly a glowing review but, if you do have a couple of hours to kill, there are worse ways to spend it than watching the Lost City.
Have you seen the Lost City? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below.