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The Lost City Movie Review

The Lost City (2022) movie poster The Lost City

Theatrical Release: March 25, 2022

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Rating: PG-13

Directors: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee

Writers: Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, Adam Nee, Aaron Nee (screenplay); Seth Gordon (story)

Cast: Sandra Bullock (Loretta Sage), Channing Tatum (Alan Caprison/Dash McMahon), Brad Pitt (Jack Trainer), Daniel Radcliffe (Abigail Fairfax), Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Beth), Patti Harrison (Pratt Caprison), Oscar Nuñez (), Raymond Lee (Officer Gomez), Adam Nee (Officer Sawyer), Joan Pringle (Nana), Thomas Forbes-Johnson (Julian), Hector Anibal (Rafi), Stephen Lang ()


The Lost City looks like a fake movie they'd talk about and maybe even go see in a sitcom. Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in a big exotic adventure as a romance novelist and her cover model?
It seems too high-concept and star-driven to exist in 2022 and that's even before you learn that this comedy also features Brad Pitt and Daniel Radcliffe in underadvertised supporting roles.

Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a widowed bestselling novelist whose popularity has been on the wane. In this film's reality, romance novelists hold book launch Q & As for their fans and attend in purple sequined jumpsuits alongside their longtime cover model. For as long as he's been on adventures, Loretta's male lead Dash has been depicted on the book fronts in artwork featuring lushly bewigged Sarasota-raised male model Alan (Tatum), an apparent heir apparent to Fabio several decades late.

After the promotional launch of her latest book, The Lost City of D, the author is abducted by the henchmen of Abigail Fairfax (Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe), a determined billionaire who believes Sage is the only one who can translate a long-lost scroll piece that will lead him to treasure on the lost island city she wrote about.

"The Lost City" stars Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock as a model and romance novelist in over their heads on an island adventure.

It's a flimsy and hokey premise that puts Hollywood's only bonafide female quinquagenarian movie star in peril, while setting not one but two generations of beloved hunks on her trail because the dim-witted Alan has enough sense to enlist his highly skilled acquaintance Jack Trainer (Pitt) to help rescue the writer.

Directed and partially written by brothers Aaron and Adam Nee, who arrive here after fifteen years of fringe filmmaking described on Wikipedia in painstaking detail we can only assume a loyal publicist supplied, Lost City unfolds with low intelligence comedy, sparkless romance, and formulaic but scenic jungle adventure that on occasion approaches passable levels of diversion.

The film seems more than a little inspired by Romancing the Stone, Robert Zemeckis' blockbuster 1984 adventure starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. As a movie whose popularity has faded as its adult audience has aged out of the industry's interests, it's kind of a weird property to draw from. But Lost City is a movie sold less on its plot than on its star power and their perceived chemistry, no matter how nonexistent that may actually be. Fifteen years ago, this would have been an obvious vehicle for Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. In 2022, it falls upon the laps of Bullock and Tatum, who would no doubt rank among many moviegoers' favorite movie stars more out of prolonged exposure and uncomplicated public personas than particularly strong bodies of work.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe takes on the supporting role of Abigail Fairfax, the film's eccentric billionaire villain.

This project is as dumb and broad as you might expect from the movie studio that is currently run by the guy who directed Good Burger. Paramount has been struggling to remain relevant over the past several years and their attempts to rely on familiar brands have increasingly run dry, even if their two biggest successes this year (Scream and Jackass Forever) have added to 20-25-year-old franchises. While you might commend the studio for injecting some originality into multiplexes,
all it's really doing here is placing its faith in the well-established brands of Bullock and Tatum. Based on my advanced screening's crowded turnout and regular flow of energetic guffaws, those star brands might be popular enough to give the distributor and the business a much-needed but undeserved big screen hit.

With this release, Radcliffe probably effectively eclipses Mark Hamill in post-signature franchise prominence. The young actor's taste in mainstream fare (Victor Frankenstein, Now You See Me 2 and this) is about as puzzling as his taste in hard sell indies (Horns, Swiss Army Man). For the sparingly-used Pitt, it provides a rare turn outside of center stage and it's a surefire contender for his least intellectual credit since Cool World thirty years ago. For Bullock, this represents the biggest test of her big screen drawing power since the 2015 flop Our Brand Is Crisis. In the years since, she's had two high-profile Netflix releases in Bird Box and The Unforgivable but free-to-view subscriber streams and getting in the car to go buy a ticket require two extremely different levels of commitment. Tatum reminds us of his comedic chops here and one can hardly begrudge him for accepting a life-changing paycheck in this rather than another chance to stretch himself for more talented filmmakers.

Related Reviews:
Now in Theaters: The BatmanThe OutfitUnchartedMoonfallDeath on the Nile
Sandra Bullock: The Proposal | Channing Tatum: 21 Jump Street | Daniel Radcliffe: Now You See Me 2

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Reviewed March 22, 2022.

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