Sandra Bullock looks stunning in the middle of the jungle, and Channing Tatum shows his softer side in The Lost City.
But those are the biggest—and perhaps only—takeaways from the new comedy-action movie.
The movie, released in theaters on March 25, offers nothing unique. In fact, you get the sensation that you’ve already watched it a million times. It’s the typical adventure movie where the two main characters fall in love after fighting for their lives in the wilderness.
From the beginning, it was obvious that The Lost City would not be a revolutionary or award-winning movie, but it doesn’t even get any redeeming points for being funny. The audience forgets the few moments worthy of laughter because they are overshadowed by the painfully unfunny scenes throughout the entire movie.
Bullock plays Loretta, a recently widowed, burnt-out romance novelist and former archaeologist. She is sinking in grief, unable to form connections with the people around her or to carry on with her career as an author.
In an effort to sell her book of the same title as the movie, Loretta’s marketing team advises her to appeal to a young audience. This young audience is a superficial fanbase that’s more interested in Alan (Tatum), the sexy man on the cover of her book who plays the hero of her novel, than the actual content of her work.
Loretta is well-spoken and knowledgeable in archaeology, but she is frustrated because her readers dismiss these traits. Her frustrations led her to become arrogant and ungrateful both to her fanbase and to the viewer.
She thinks very little of Alan, believing he is shallow and vain because he is confident and attracts lots of women. But Alan’s character is charming beyond his physical attractiveness. His character surprises the viewer by demonstrating depth and complexity after his first seemingly shallow appearance in the movie.
Although Alan fits the archetype of a himbo at first, he is much more than that. He is caring, thoughtful, and in touch with his emotions. Loretta, on the other hand, puts little effort into the things she does and says and goes along with anything her marketing team says, showing her lack of personality and ambition.
During her book tour, Loretta is kidnapped by Abigail (Daniel Radcliffe), a bizarre, wealthy man. The movie turns into a rescue mission that Alan orchestrates to find Loretta.
The plot is disorganized and sloppy. It includes a few poorly executed action and fight scenes that are predictable for the genre and therefore uninteresting.
The brief appearance of Brad Pitt as Jack Trainer shows the directors’ dependency on a renowned cast to make a noticeable movie. Pitt appears out of nowhere to fight the bad guys in the movie and does not add much more than that.
The Lost City could’ve been funny if it wasn’t trying so desperately hard. When it tries to be funny through sarcasm, it overdoes the sarcasm to an obvious and awkward point.
In the opening scene of the book, the protagonists of Loretta’s romance novel are held hostage with snakes surrounding them. The fictional characters make repetitive jokes about the snakes, rather than being afraid as they probably should be. They make fun of the man who is holding them hostage until they irritate both him and the viewer rather than causing a comedic effect.
The only compelling aspect of The Lost City is its romantic focus. Tatum brings out Loretta’s more likable traits with his sensitivity. Loretta eventually learns to be vulnerable again, highlighting how the chemistry between the pair has produced something positive.