‘The Lost City:’ A serviceable adventure comedy

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With “Uncharted” still collecting cash at the box office these past few weekends, a new action- adventure film has made its way into cinemas, looking for box office gold. 

This weekend brought the release of “The Lost City,” an action-adventure comedy film helmed by Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. Actors Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Brad Pitt play supporting characters in the Adam and Aaron Nee-directed film.  

The film bears an interesting concept. Bullock’s Loretta Sage is a renowned romantic-adventure novelist who is kidnapped by a billionaire and finds a secret treasure, and the only person that can save her is her book cover model played by Tatum. 

First off, before diving into the review itself, it is a great thing to see a mid-budget, original comedy in theaters. This type of film is rarely being made these days, and thus “The Lost City” fills a market-wide void that has been depleted since the mid-2010s. 

Though it is a good thing to see a film like “The Lost City” being funded and released, the movie itself is just serviceable. 

Both Bullock and Tatum are charismatic actors, both starring in several successful comedy films over the past decade. Unfortunately, I feel this film poorly utilized their comedic abilities. Bullock and Tatum are comedic actors, but are not necessarily comedians. Instead of relying on comedic dialogue, “The Lost City” seems heavily reliant on improvisational comedy, with the actors riffing off one another in scenes. I may be wrong in that assumption, but the comedic scenes in the film feel highly improvised. The comedy of “The Lost City” comes largely from these improvisations and some physical comedy. Though Tatum and Bullock are strong comedic actors, you can’t help but feel throughout the movie that two comedian-actors would be better suited for the improvisational style of the film. 

In terms of the supporting cast, both Randolph and Pitt are quite solid in their limited scenes in the picture. Tatum and Bullock are the leads of “The Lost City,” and though the supporting actors have some great moments, the film largely surrounds the two stars. 

Radcliffe is unfortunately a bit underused in “The Lost City.” His character had potential to be developed further and to be played in an over-the-top campy way, but the performance was instead very one-note. I think a more charismatic villain would have benefitted “The Lost City,” I wish the directors pushed Radcliffe further on the campiness scale in this role. 

Personally, I think the comedy of the film would have been more effective if they leaned further into the premise. They set up the entire film as being an action adventure with a writer and a cover model being the “action heroes,” which in itself is a pretty good comedic concept. However, by the time we get into the second act, the film largely disregards its premise. I think if the film leaned more into this concept of two unprepared adventurers, essentially becoming a parody of action-adventure films, it would have been more successful.  

That being said, “The Lost City” is by no means a bad movie. Bullock and Tatum have solid chemistry, the story itself is never boring or without fun moments and the film has pretty good pacing. If you are looking for a fun adventure comedy, this film is just that, but I would not say it is in the top tier of the comedic genre. 

Ultimately, “The Lost City” has a great cast and a fun concept, but just serviceable execution, underutilizing its actors and its comedic premise. 

Rating: 2.95/5 

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