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Waterfront Festival

Film Review: The Lost City

17 May 22 words: Emma Walsh

First off, let’s be honest, who doesn’t dream about Channing Tatum coming to their rescue? And filmmakers have finally decided to make a movie about it? Fabulous! But is it quite as good as you’d expect?

Directors: Aaron Nee and Adam Nee
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe
Running time: 112 minutes

I’ll be completely honest; I was beyond excited at the idea of seeing The Lost City. From the trailer, it seemed like it was going to be one of those films that had the full package. Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt? The dreamboat duo we never knew we needed. Sandra Bullock? Always great, especially in a comedy. That, and I’m quite partial to an adventure set around ancient ruins and treasures. So, like I said, full package, right?

As a brief summary, this film centres around author Loretta Sage (Bullock), a romance/adventure novelist embeds ancient history in her work thanks to her late husband. But when it turns out that one of the settings from her book, The Lost City of D, may be real, she comes up against Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), who kidnaps her in the hope that she will find him a hidden treasure that resides there. Enter Alan (Tatum), the cover model for Loretta’s books who is hell-bent on proving to her that he’s more than just a pretty face, and sets out to rescue her.

‘Disappointed’ seems a harsh word to use, but the film doesn't quite live up to expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it is by no means awful, but it seems a classic case of ‘most of the things that make it good are in the trailer’. Quite honestly, some of the humour falls a bit flat, with the leech scene we all knew was coming being one of the main points of humour. That isn’t to say, however, that I am sat here unmoved by the whole thing. Both Tatum and Bullock play their parts wonderfully, Tatum as the loveable oaf who always scores an A for effort, and Bullock as the forever-unimpressed, sarcastic cynic. It is a dynamic that strangely works quite well, and I wouldn’t mind watching again if the natural humour of the two actors was fully optimised.

Is there anything else to take away from the film? Well, I’ve learned that a glittery jumpsuit can actually be quite useful in the jungle

Daniel Radcliffe also plays his part well, getting about as far away as he can from the Harry Potter we all know him for, as he takes on the role of the main villain. My issue isn't the acting, but rather the kind of villain Abigail Fairfax is in the film - he’s just a bit of a brat. Nothing more to it. It’s established that his big-money father hasn’t given him what he wanted and it shows. He’s just very all bark and no bite, and I find myself rolling my eyes at him quite a lot. If that was what screenwriters were after, then mission accomplished, but I'm not sold.

I think my main issue with The Lost City is that it just didn’t stand out from any of the other action/adventure films set in the jungle. It has an essence of Tomb Raider, weirdly mashed up with the Jumanji reboots. I guess what I’m saying is it is nothing ground-breaking for the genre. It probably won’t be one of my go-to films at any point in the near future, but that isn’t to say I won’t watch it again. It is an easy watch with familiar themes, a good cast, and a few laughs. 

Is there anything else to take away from the film? Well, I’ve learned that a glittery jumpsuit can actually be quite useful in the jungle, so it's clearly an outfit for all occasions. That, and to never settle for anything less than being rescued by someone who remembers to bring snacks.

Did you know? After making a cameo in Brad Pitt's movie Bullet Train (2022), Sandra Bullock befriended Pitt and saw an opportunity for a fun casting, which led to Pitt accepting a cameo in this movie.

The Lost City is now showing in cinemas 

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