Sliding its way into UK cinemas for the Easter weekend, and still playing in US cinemas, is the action-adventure comedy, The Lost City. The movie – directed by Adam and Aaron Nee – stars Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, and Brad Pitt, and tells the story of a romance novelist and her cover model, who get caught up in a treasure hunt they hadn’t planned to embark on.
In the movie, Loretta Sage is a romantic adventure novelist who writes books by day, and keeps herself-to-herself at all other times. But when her publicist insists that Loretta take part in a book tour, she is forced to spend time with Alan Caprison – the dashing model who appears on the cover of all her novels.
Much to Loretta’s frustration, during the tour all anyone wants to talk about is Alan’s handsome appearance, rather than her stories. This annoys Loretta so much that she announces she has plans to kill off her main character and promptly falls out with Alan.
But if that wasn’t bad enough, while waiting for her ride home, Loretta is kidnapped by eccentric billionaire, Abigail Fairfax. Fairfax is searching for a lost treasure, and based on information contained in one of Loretta’s books, he believes she may be able to help him uncover its whereabouts.
Whisking the novelist off to a remote Atlantic island, Fairfax forces her to provide assistance – something which Loretta is reluctant to do. However, just as Fairfax’s patience is tested, Alan arrives to rescue Loretta.
As Alan is mostly useless at this kind of thing, he has called in ex-Navy SEAL, Jack Trainer, to do all of the heavy lifting. But can Loretta, Alan, and Jack escape the clutches of Fairfax, and will anyone uncover the hidden treasure?
Taking cues from movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Romancing the Stone (1984), The Lost City is a rip-roaring adventure romp, perfect for those looking for some carefree escapism. It is a movie built around action and romance, it is filled to the brim with fine performances from its central cast, and it is topped off with rib-tickling gags a-plenty.
The Lost City is the sort of movie that Hollywood doesn’t tend to make so much of these days. Sure, we still get adventure films of this ilk, such as last year’s Jungle Cruise for example, but these sorts of pictures tend to be a rare breed, so when they come along and they prove their worth, it’s advisable to enjoy what is on offer.
And those who plan on checking this movie out are sure to be delighted with what The Lost City serves up. It is bright, cheerful, frothy in all the right places, and a heck of a lot of fun.
The story about lost treasure and a rescue attempt is perfectly serviceable, and gives the film just enough material to fill out its runtime. However, the real gold in this film comes from the lead stars, their interaction with each other, and their ability to let go of any hang-ups they might have and just have a wild time instead.
For Sandra Bullock, this means spending the majority of the movie running round a jungle while dressed in a figure-hugging sequined jumpsuit. She looks great (this is Sandra Bullock after all), but the sheer sight of is pretty daft – she knows it, we know it, but Bullock is more than happy to go with it.
Likewise, for Channing Tatum, the film asks him to play up his ‘himbo’ persona, which leans into the idea that his character is a little slow on the uptake. Tatum is far from stupid, and roles like this run the risk of typecasting, but he goes with the requirements of the role and makes his time on screen a delight to watch.
Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe gets to ham it up as a short-tempered billionaire, while Brad Pitt has a ball playing a ridiculously capable action man. These two get less screen time than Bullock and Tatum, with Pitt in particular getting a minimal role, but both actors relish the parts they are given.
In fact, while watching this movie, one thought struck me quite clearly: These actors must have had a blast filming this picture. Sure, they have to wade through murky water and roll around in the mud, but there’s a certain energy that comes across in their performances which suggests they handled it all in their stride and laughed along too.
And speaking of laughs, if there’s one thing this film does, it is bring the laughs. The gag rate is consistent and this certainly fits the tone of the picture.
My only gripe is that I wished this film had gone truly old school and had included a gag reel over the end credits. I bet there are some great outtakes knocking around somewhere, and if they do exist, I would have loved to see them.
But outtakes or no outtakes, there’s much to enjoy in The Lost City regardless. This is a film which knows exactly what it wants to do, it never takes itself too seriously, and it offers heaps of entertainment for the cost of a cinema ticket.
Should you give it a watch this weekend? Yes, indeed. And if not this weekend, then be sure to take a look when you can.
Bullock and Tatum are worth it alone, but everything about this movie lands perfectly. It is a solid crowd-pleaser and one to enjoy while slurping your cola and munching on your popcorn.