THE LOST CITY (2022)
Riding the discovery of spectacular chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, The Lost City delivers an often times exciting and entertaining adventure that struggles to to find consistent footing and reach that next level.
When an author (Bullock) is kidnapped by a young billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) hoping to put her knowledge of unique ancient history to use in search of a lost treasure, her cover model (Tatum) comes to the rescue in an attempt to show that he is more than just good looks. Bullock and Tatum are immediate draws for their abilities to dive into comedic roles and make them their own, traits that are on full display in The Lost City as the two expertly play off of one another. Prior to getting to that fun, however, The Lost City stumbles out of the gate with a slow setup punctuated by attempts at humor that don’t quite land. The gags are so few and far between that it takes a hilarious and over-the-top cameo from Brad Pitt to rescue the early moments of the film. Once Bullock and Tatum are let loose into the jungle, The Lost City finds direction, though never quite nails the recipe for how to navigate the lackluster plot. Everything feels underdeveloped and surface level, whether that is the dialogue, the jokes, certain obvious CGI moments, or cheap set design. While Radcliffe is solid in this villainous turn, even his ambitions and motivations seem understated and underexplored.
Still, The Lost City is a film alive with a fun charm that is reminiscent of Bullock’s comedies of the past. I found myself rooting for the characters and invested in how it would all turn out, even as the story took fluctuated between adventure and silliness. One consistently pleasant thread was the character of Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) who brought a steadying presence to the comedic element of The Lost City, aided later in the film by The Office’s Oscar Nuñez in an entertainingly ridiculous turn. The same can’t be said for the squandered inclusion of Patti Harrison, last year’s breakout star in Together, Together, who here is relegated to a stereotypical dumb assistant with minimal screen time. It all amounts to a film that fails to pack the punch it is going for, more often than not coming up short and relying on Bullock and Tatum to rescue it, which they largely do. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy myself, it’s that I wanted so much more.
The Lost City hits theaters this Friday.
Photo from IMDb