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October 2022

The Lost City

Platform(s): Movie
Genre: Comedy
Publisher: Paramount
Release Date: March 25, 2022


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Movie Review - 'The Lost City'

by Adam Pavlacka on March 25, 2022 @ 2:25 a.m. PDT

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.

Sandra Bullock's latest film has her starring as Loretta Sage, a successful, but reclusive, romance novelist. Since the death of her husband, Loretta has disengaged from the world — something that most of us can relate to after living with COVID-19 for two years. The world can be a scary place, especially for someone who is a bit risk-adverse.

Unfortunately for Loretta, she has a book to promote, and that means dealing with fans and her handsome, but not too bright, cover model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum). Loretta's fans all know Alan as his fictional alter-ego Dash, the hero of Loretta's novels.

After getting some basic backstory out of the way, Loretta is kidnapped by Abigail Fairfax, a rich eccentric, who believes that Loretta is the key to finding a long-lost treasure. While Bullock and Tatum are definitely the stars of the show, Daniel Radcliffe comes in a close second as Abigail, who he plays in a completely over-the-top manner. It's an impressive dedication to the bit, and it probably wouldn't have worked if Radcliffe hadn't been so insanely committed. Yes, Abigail is a rich bastard, but he's enjoyable every moment he's on-screen.

As for Bullock and Tatum, the movie lives on their chemistry. As Loretta and Alan, the two have a business relationship but don't really know how to communicate properly with each other outside of that world. Their attempts to escape the dangers of the jungle — and survive each other — is what makes "The Lost City" work.

Building off previous adventure films, "The Lost City" rides the line of parody with Radcliffe, while not being afraid to play with genre conventions. Neither Loretta nor Alan is clearly the hero, and both have some learning to do. There's one moment where this clearly hits Alan after a botched rescue attempt, as he asks, "I'm the damsel in distress?"

Adding an extra bit of chaos to the mix (both on the action side and on the romance side) is Brad Pitt as Jack Trainer, the ex-special agent-turned-new-age Zen master who helps Alan rescue Loretta. He knows how to maintain balance, he can fight like a superhero, and he's got glorious golden hair. Though he's a bit more subtle than Radcliffe, Pitt commits to his role with equal gusto, making the absurd seem downright normal.

When "The Lost City" hits its highs, it works really well. Unfortunately, the third act doesn't quite keep up the pace of the earlier parts of the film. An extra subplot is introduced, with Loretta's manager (Patti Harrison) attempting her own rescue mission. Harrison's character is solid, as is the crazy pilot who helps her out, but it takes away attention from Loretta and Dash.

Ultimately, "The Lost City" is a fun, mid-budget comedy adventure. It pulls inspiration from classics like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Romancing the Stone" and mixes in some fresh ideas, but the overall execution doesn't quite hit the levels of the mentioned films. "The Lost City" isn't a must-see, but at the same time, it's also a perfect way to while away an afternoon with some escapist fun.

Score: 7.0/10

"The Lost City" is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It is showing exclusively in theaters.

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