The adventure comedy genre sees another fresh addition in The Lost City, a jungle-set adventure following a romance novelist and her cover model who become swept up in a dangerous treasure-hunting adventure.
Just in case you were wondering – this isn’t anything you’ve never seen before. It’s a familiar formula that doesn’t hold too many surprises, which doesn’t always need to be a bad thing… it just means elements such as the performances and comedy need to step up. Unfortunately, neither of those elements do much to make this a fulfilling journey through the jungle. The narrative itself is fine, but it’s not the reason you’re seeing this movie. It’s something you can write in your sleep and just isn’t all that engaging. It serves its purpose of getting the characters from A to B to C, and is easy enough to follow, but it’s nothing really more than that.
Similar to the narrative, the comedy is just fine. There’s some decently funny moments throughout the film that certainly lighten the mood, but it also has its fair share of misses. The cheesy moments are okay at best, but it’s the banter between our two leads that brings the majority of the successfully comedic moments. Seeing Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum go back and forth made for a number of scenes capped off with a one-liner that garnered a decent chuckle. Furthermore, the two of them have some solid chemistry that definitely works to elevate the film in some key moments.
Performance-wise, I enjoyed watching both Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in the lead roles, for the most part. Sandra especially is able to use her experience and loveable aura to flesh out her character while also contributing to the comedic beats. Channing has great execution when it comes to the more comedic beats, but doesn’t do much to sell the more emotional elements of his character. Then there’s the presence of Daniel Radcliffe as the film’s villain – a role that is horribly miscast. I’ve loved Daniel in most of his post-Harry Potter roles – he’s a great actor who is able to play many different characters… though this isn’t one of them. The overly-eccentric and cartoonish villain just doesn’t work for the film and isn’t entertaining in the slightest. It seems like an issue with the writing more than Daniel’s performance, so that can’t be entirely put on him.
In the end, The Lost City is a film that would have been much better suited as a streaming release. To take the journey out to the theatres for something so mediocre and formulaic leaves a bit more of a sour taste than it would’ve had it been released on Netflix, for example. Anything that works in this film is just fine. Whether it be the comedy, the story or the lead performances, it’s all average at best. The presence of Sandra Bullock is something that elevates the film, while the handling of Daniel Radcliffe’s villain drastically holds it back. If you’re looking for an easy watch, this is solid choice, though maybe wait for it to hit one of your streaming services first.