The Lost City (2022)
"The Lost City" stars Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, and Brad Pitt. Released on March 25, 2022, the film is about a novelist and her cover model who get caught in the middle of a cutthroat adventure.
The film was directed by Aaron and Adam Nee, who also directed "The Last Romantic" and "Band of Robbers". Everybody has a case of writer's block now and then, even the authors who write a series of popular novels and me when I write reviews. Sometimes we all just need to step back to get our brain gears working again. In a case like this, we just need to experience some ideas ourselves. Our summer vacation starts early this weekend with a film that features a romance author searching for treasure on an island. No, I'm not talking about the Robert Zemeckis classic "Romancing the Stone". I'm talking about a movie that happens to be similar to the 1984 romance-adventure comedy. This is another film that immediately caught my attention, mainly because of its leads and its supposedly fun concept. Channing Tatum is continuing his recent comeback this year, while Sandra Bullock… well, she's still working hard both as an actress and a producer. With these two talented leads on board, is it enough to provide some enjoyment to this tropical adventure? Let's find out.
The story centers on Loretta Sage (Bullock), a middle-aged author who writes romance-adventure novels centering around a fictional hero named Dash. While struggling with her latest book, she attends a book tour with her dimwitted cover model Alan Caprison (Tatum), who portrays Dash in the novels. Unfortunately, she eventually gets captured by an eccentric billionaire named Abigail Fairfax (Radcliffe), who believes that Loretta knows the location of the mysterious lost city. This forces Alan to go on a rescue mission to save her. Despite having no survival skills, Loretta and Alan will have to survive every dangerous obstacle on the island to find the lost city and avoid Fairfax.
In hindsight, this is more or less of a rehash of "Romancing the Stone" regarding its plot. However, instead of a novelist being partnered with Michael Douglas, she's teaming up with Channing Tatum, which doesn't seem as bad as it sounds. He does provide a mixture of action and comedy in his previous movies, so she should consider herself somewhat lucky. If you're expecting something more out of its familiar storyline, you're not going to get much else in-between the lines. But if you're going into this film expecting to have a good time watching a mismatched pair finding ancient treasure, you'll be pretty satisfied with the outcome. Was it a perfect adventure comedy? No, but that's okay. I had fun watching it, and that's all that matters.
Despite its similar elements from the other adventure comedies or romantic comedies, the story offers plenty of entertainment value in its cast and comical scenarios. More importantly, it delivered a surprisingly decent character arc for Loretta. It centers on the character's grief, as she isolates herself after the death of her husband. The unexpected turn of events forces her to rediscover what she's missing out and continue her own story. While this direction may not be as strong as the film's comedy, it does serve as a good backbone to its series of unfortunate yet amusing tropical mishaps.
There are certain occasions where a combination of talented actors and an entertaining concept can result in something more valuable than a piece of gold. Fortunately, "The Lost City" is one of them, as it features a well-rounded cast that brings out the laughs and the charisma. Sandra Bullock is no stranger to starring in comedies outside of her dramatic roles, and it shows. She's very entertaining in her role as Loretta, and she's also funny in some moments. I would probably say that this is the best she's been since voicing a cartoon supervillain in "Minions" regarding her comedy roles. Channing Tatum also delivered a fun performance as Alan, whose good looks and a heart of gold compensate for his idiocy and lack of skills. That makes it two for two for Tatum this year. The two leads did wonders in providing a sense of enjoyment individually, but their chemistry together is where the film shines the brightest. With goofy dialogue and humorous situations, Bullock and Tatum's chemistry has enough momentum to keep the treasure hunt from growing stale. The supporting cast followed suit, including Daniel Radcliffe, who's an absolute blast to watch as the villainous Fairfax. Anyone could've played this character, but the former Harry Potter star successfully proved that he was the right man for the job. Da'Vine Joy Randolph also scored some surprising chuckles as Beth, Loretta's manager, and Brad Pitt as Jack Trainer was a suitable treat despite his short screen time.
As for the humor, there were plenty of physical and dialogue-driven jokes that were genuinely well-handled. Not all of the jokes land as much as others, but the Nee brothers offer a near-perfect balance between comedy and adventure that doesn't feel too exaggerated or forced. The only problem I had with it was that a couple of jokes overstayed their welcome by a few seconds. The charming cast happened to prevent them from running themselves dry, but sometimes, too much of a good thing can be as dangerous as surviving on an island.
Overall, "The Lost City" is a valuable treasure worth romancing over. There's nothing too special about this carbon copy of the 1984 classic when it comes to its plot. However, it does represent a joyful and adventurous experience filled with action, comedy, romance, and Brad Pitt. With the entertaining chemistry between the two leads, its decent narrative, and solid humor, the film makes this journey as rewarding as the treasure itself. As I mentioned earlier, I had a fun time watching it, and if you like the two main actors and adventure comedies, there's a good chance you will too.
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