By Megan Bianco
Someone—most likely screenwriter Seth Gordon—definitely came up with the concept for Adam and Aaron Nee’s new adventure-romcom The Lost City after revisiting Robert Zemeckis’ Romancing the Stone (1984) and Anne Fletcher’s The Proposal (2009).
We get the now-familiar and successful trope of Sandra Bullock paired with a good-looking, younger male star in a goofy comedy, yet it still falters slightly.
Loretta Sage (Bullock) is a middle-aged former archaeologist who switched over to penning romance-adventure novels after her husband’s death. What used to be a distraction from her grief is now a nuisance to herself, as she sabotages her latest book tour and embarrasses her regular cover model, Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum).
Before she realizes what’s happening, Loretta is kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), who believes the exotic lost city of her new novel is real and wants her to show him where it is. Alan and secret service agent Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt) are off to Loretta’s rescue.
Bullock and Tatum are naturals with comedic material and have all the necessities for box-office appeal, as proven with past action-comedy hits. Radcliffe is impressively entertaining as the kooky, high class villain of Lost City, while it’s fun to see Pitt on the side in a tongue-in-cheek glorified cameo.
The Lost City appears to be the Nee brothers’ first studio feature, which might explain its lack of proper cinematic vision. It aesthetically feels like a generic blockbuster churned out by Paramount as an easy cash-grab. The humor is fine, though it mostly lands because of the cast’s delivery, rather than the writing.
Yet, even with its weaknesses and serious effort from the viewers to suspend practical logic for the plot’s progression, I might still recommend The Lost City for Bullock’s and Tatum’s performances and chemistry, because they are a no-brainer of an on-screen couple.
Also—and this might be the most nit-picking I’ve ever done in a movie review—the bonus scene in the middle of the end credits is really stupid. Bonus scenes are supposed to be an extra joke or tease for a sequel. But this one just reminds you how dumb The Lost City’s universe is and ruins the mood during an otherwise easy viewing.