'The Lost City' Finds Pure Escapism Directed by Aaron and Adam Nee
Starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nuñez, Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Published Mar 25, 2022After two years of pandemic fatigue, there's nothing quite like hearing booming laughs echo throughout the theatre. The Lost City delivers exactly that, as it's a screwball comedy that doubles as a rom-com, making audiences extra glad that theatres are back open after the winter closures.
The comedy is brimming with laugh-out-loud one-liners that are perfectly deadpanned by leads Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe. The addition of a very charming Brad Pitt is the sweet icing on the cake.
The film follows romance novelist Loretta Sage (Bullock), who pens exotic, globetrotting bestsellers that feature a handsome hero named Dash. She's joined on press tours by Alan, the dim-witted yet sweet and sensitive model who appears on the book covers.
When they're on their book tour, Loretta is kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Radcliffe), as he believes the Lost City in her novels actually exists. He wants her to translate ancient writing so he can get the treasure and prove his worth to his father. Alan believes he can find Loretta and, with the help of Jack Trainer (Pitt), he goes off to a tropical island to rescue her.
The script is quite formulaic — this is just an action-adventure that throws two unlikely people together, And while there's nothing particularly creative about the storyline, it's the stars who deliver the laughs.
Channing Tatum has always had superb comic timing, and he continues to prove his range as a comedian with punchlines that never fall flat. Of the cast, he draws some of the best laughs. He also brings a sweetness to the role, giving more depth to the "himbo" his Dash appears to be at first glance. He carried off the role in a similar manner to Chris Hemwsorth in 2016's Ghostbusters.
Sandra Bullock is a pro at everything she does, whether it's comedy or drama. She nails the idiosyncrasies of her character with panache. I just wished her character had a stronger sense of humour (like she displayed in The Heat or The Proposal). Loretta's husband passed away shortly before the events of this film and she's still in mourning, which dampens the more comedic notes Bullock could have brought to the role. The script gets a bit heavier with her grief.
Brad Pitt is pure gold, channeling the suave of a yogi who swishes his hair as if in a hair commercial as he saves the day like a swooning action hero. He's truly a scene-stealer.
Daniel Radcliffe, for his part, plays his role to a tee. He has always had great comic timing, and he could have had more screen time here. If we knew more about his motives and backstory, it would have added to the hilarity that his role offers.
The film also doesn't try to show the guy saving the girl — a nice modern twist to these action-adventure flicks. As we learn, Loretta doesn't need saving, and the film never falters in that message.
The Lost City is pure escapism to be watched on the big screen and to be enjoyed with family and friends. It's a delightful romp that brings back the long-lost adventure comedies of the good old days but with a new perspective. (Paramount)