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Movie Review

Release Date: 03/25/22
Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy

Studio: Paramount Pictures


"A reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure."


The Lost City was a delightful adventure film that really won me over after watching the ridiculous trailer that made the film seem unremarkable, predictable and equally dumb. While the film may not be incredibly smart, there are some cleverly written character moments that help us fall for the developing friendship between Tatum’s cover model Alan (AKA Dash) and Bullock’s author Loretta. Taking on the idea of what if a romance novel came to life while being entirely meta, that’s the basis surrounding The Lost City and it’s a purely original IP. 


When the film first begins I wasn’t entirely on board, namely because I wasn’t into the dour Loretta and her hatred for the showboating Alan. At the start Tatum and Bullock share almost no chemistry and this continues for the first half hour of the movie but after watching the entire experience I can almost guarantee that was what the Nee brothers were going for in their direction. When the chemistry picks up between the two the film becomes levels above what it was before and while the maniacal Daniel Radcliffe drops off almost entirely once the two become partners, it’s a solid exchange. However if Radcliffe would have been given a better second half of a script his sociopathic billionaire, Abigail Fairfax could have been so much more memorable by the time the credits roll. It’s almost like just how Loretta in the film failed to give her book a proper conclusion -  screenwriters Seth Gordon and Dana Fox left Radcliffe’s villainous arc just as rushed and unfinished. 


For those that saw the ridiculous trailer beforehand then you won't be surprised by Brad Pitt’s wild role in the film which luckily transpires near the end of the first act, so you’re not getting a ton spoiled by watching Pitt be a badass in the trailer. I was thoroughly surprised by Pitt’s Jack Trainer in the film and truly wished he had a larger role. 


What the film did not need is a silly side character to potentially save the day AKA Loretta’s publisher Beth. In a film that is heavily comical – having it cut every so often to her trying to find and save Loretta felt like extra comic relief for a film that didn’t need it. Beth’s character actually reminded me of another possible savior from the film Fresh, a bartender who uses phone tracking to find the kidnapped women (this isn’t a spoiler because it’s inconsequential). 


Visually for a feature that is set heavily in the jungle – it looks realistic, as if the actors were truly filming in the wilderness, while also being somewhat fantastical to capture the essence of being within a book similar to what Loretta would have written. While the visuals are respectable to say the least, there are numerous shots that are eye-rolling in their use of obvious CGI backdrops – usually when a character is close to the camera with a “stunning” background. 


The Lost City isn’t a great film or a captivating treasure hunt – Uncharted truly provided a more exciting search for treasure than anything in this film but it’s in the comedy and chemistry between our leads that makes for a superior time at the movies. Tatum is back. Bullock is back. Not saying we need a sequel to this but I wouldn’t be opposed to sitting down and spending another few hours with the likes of Loretta and Alan…and maybe even Jack Trainer.

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