Review: The Lost City
The Lost City is a quaint sort of film for the 2020s. It feels like an adventure film right of the last millennium, and is essentially a remake of Romancing the Stone. Like its predecessors it’s a star-driven feature, with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum being the main draws. Bullock plays a romance novelist who winds up lost in an island jungle with her novel’s cover model (Tatum). While it adds an updated dose of modern humor, its structure and plot feel right out of an earlier decade’s playbook.
As a result, though The Lost City is certainly no masterpiece, it winds up feeling somewhat like a breathe of fresh air. In a world where theaters are dedicated largely to blockbuster comic book films and IP, with a smattering of horror films (many also trying to cash in on IP), a romance-adventure film like this is an oddity. It’s a mid-budget feature with a reported price tag of $68-74 million, a welcome rarity in this day.
The humor can be sophomoric at times, and the plotting can get a little silly. The arcs of the main characters are also rather obvious, with dialogue spelling out the character beats. Yet the film uses the chemistry of Tatum and Bullock to great effect, and Bullock plays off of Tatum’s mimbo character quite well. They are a humorous and unconventional pair.
Daniel Radcliffe and Brad Pitt are also entertaining. Radcliffe plays the film’s egomaniacal villain, and while it’s a small role, his over-the-top British whininess is funny. Pitt’s role is also fairly limited, but the script manages to deliver a slight twist with it. For such a simple film, anything surprising is welcome.
The Lost City is, ultimately, a light and breezy affair, but it feels far less lazy than it could have, and it seems like everyone involved was having a fun time. There’s a certain blandness to it, but it harkens back to a different era, and for a little nostalgic trip you could do far worse.