The Lost City
Director: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee
Writer: Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, Adam Nee, Aaron Nee
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Brad Pitt, Oscar Nuñez, Patti Harrison, Bowen Yang
Seen on: 24.4.2022
Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a very successful romance novelist whose heroine Angela is an archaeologist – like Loretta herself. But since the death of her husband, Loretta has been unable to write. And so her latest novel ends in an awkward place for Angela and her love interest Dash. The planned book tour is off to a bad start then, especially since Loretta’s agent Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) invited cover model Alan (Channing Tatum) along. At least on a visual level, he is the embodiment of Dash. But Loretta absolutely loathes him. A feeling that is not reciprocated. And when Loretta gets taken by billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) for her archaeological expertise, it is Alan who sets out to rescue her, however inept his efforts are.
The Lost City is excellent fun, a great fusion of romance and adventure that pays hommage to both genres but not without some humorous irreverence. I had a great time with it.
As we all know, romance is a genre that is not necessarily well treated, but rather meets a lot of condecension and ridicule. So it’s really nice to get a film that does not look down at the genre but still pokes a bit of fun at it. Still, in the end, this is a romantic film itself that mourns Loretta’s loss of her belief in romance and only hopes she can find it again. (When Alan points out her bitterness, it felt a little mansplainy, but other than that, no complaints about it.)
The film also treats adventure movies quite similarly. It points out some flaws in genre conventions, and it even manages to (softly) place a couple of points about the inherent coloniality that those Indiana Jones type films have, but in the end, it revels in the adventure just as much as in the romance.
The genres also aren’t really the source of the jokes in the film – and there are plenty of those. I don’t know when a film had me in stitches so much the last time. The way they played the jokes on the visual level is absolutely fantastic, and Bullock and Tatum both bring their A-game as well. Radcliffe obviously had a lot of fun in giving the caricature of a villain as the film calls for, and Pitt was perfectly chosen. I wasn’t as convinced by Beth, unfortunately – not because Randolph didn’t do well with the role, but because Beth herself falls too much in the racist trope category. She certainly only serves as the “sassy Black friend”.
On the whole, The Lost City really delivered what I hoped it would: romance, adventure and fun. It know 100% what kind of film it is – and it’s happy to be that kind of film. And that, in turn, makes the audience happy as well.
Summarizing: great entertainment.