In the wildly-entertaining THE LOST CITY, Sandra Bullock plays Loretta, a world acclaimed Romance Novelist still mourning the death of her Archaeologist husband. On the first day on the publicity tour of the release of her latest Book (which she staunchly reports will be her last in this genre as she wants to tackle more serious topics), Loretta is dismayed that she will be joined by Dash (Channing Tatum), the Fabio-esque, long blonde-haired cover model in all of her books, as fans in the audience are more interested with him taking off his shirt than they are in the Book and Author.
Through a series of comical mishaps, Loretta exits the stage and is quickly abducted. Billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) believes she is the only one able to translate primordial stone carvings to find an ancient relic and they take his private plane to a small, jungle-lush island to begin the search. Meanwhile, Dash and Loretta’s publisher Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) enlist the help Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt), a rugged, brilliant man with long flowing blonde tresses who, in essence, could have been the inspiration of the hero in Loretta’s books. When our two cinematic hunks ultimately find and rescue Loretta, Jack surprisingly exits the scene, which leaves our couple alone to navigate the treacherous jungle and Fairfax’s heavily armed henchmen on their way back to safety and civilization.
Watching THE LOST CITY reminded me of the many things that I, as an avid Moviegoer who loved sitting in a large, darkened theatre, has “lost” in recent years due to the pandemic restrictions and situations. Despite her recent successful forays in streaming vehicles, I realized how much I missed watching Bullock on the big screen. Seeing her traverse the jungle in a sequined lavender jumpsuit and wearing shoes that would make Sarah Jessica Parker swoon with envy automatically plasters a smiling grin on my face. Her comedic skills remain impeccable and her line to Brad Pitt when their characters first meet is so funny and unexpected, had I been taking a sip from my drink, my spit-take reaction would have drenched the people seated in front of me! Channing Tatum does not seem to get the critical accolades he so deserves. As Dash, he creates a fully-rounded character that one can’t help but route for – it’s a stellar, completely captivating performance. He performs a take on his “Magic Mike” moves early in THE LOST CITY, but there’s a subsequent scene where there’s a romantic tango between him and Bullock that’ll make dance aficionados swoon!
The chemistry Tatum and Bullock have together is electric. I’d love to see these two in a remake of “His Girl Friday”. The rapid exchanges they perform together is magical. I have personally admired every screen performance, post-“Harry Potter” that Daniel Radcliffe brings to the table. He is always fearless and tackles the roles with finesse and strength, despite the genre. He excels here as the baddie! And as for Brad Pitt…well…he never disappoints, does he?
THE LOST CITY does pay homage to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, but it really is influenced by “Romancing the Stone.” Recent Action/Adventure movies, enjoyable as they may be, seem to focus on multiverses or action heroes. It is refreshing to see one that encapsulates those influences with a Romance flourish. My only issue with this Movie is that all the secondary characters are under-developed and mostly disposable. Da’Vine Joy Randolph has “it” (that undefinable magic a screen Actor has); it would have been nice to see her character have more substance than only smart-ass remarks.
Other than that, what’s not to love about THE LOST CITY? Excellent comic timing, exciting action sequences and a romantic story that harkens the Screwball Comedies of the past. And here’s some advice. Do not leave when the End Credits start to roll as you will miss a delicious surprise!
Paramount Pictures Canada release THE LOST CITY, now in theatres.