Channing Tatum has grown on me in the last few years or so. His work in 21 and 22 Jump Street has shown he has embraced his comedy side. Dog earlier this year has shown he is going to do projects that really matter to him. In The Lost City, he goes back to what had made him a fan favorite of late, and that’s another action-comedy. This time around, he drags Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt with him.
Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a popular romantic book series author. She is scheduled to finish her new book and go on tour with her cover model Alan (Channing Tatum). While at her first press tour appearance, she gets kidnapped by some shady men. These men take her to their billionaire boss Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe). He has a grand plan involving a volcanic island and a ruby-studded tiara that will make him a very powerful man.
If this concept sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is. It’s a mix between Romancing the Stone and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Determined to find his author, Tatum’s character enlists the help of a friend named Jack (Brad Pitt) with an appetite for masculinity. He has this coolness to him that makes him a complete badass. Channing’s character is utterly jealous of him and how he makes everything look so easy.
This film leans on the romantic connection between Bullock and Tatum. That’s a good thing because they are fantastic opposites in this film. They have great chemistry throughout. At first, they are like oil and vinegar, but they become like peanut butter and jelly as the film progresses. They’re perfect together. The awkwardness they both possess makes this pairing very genuine and funny. Both of their comedy backgrounds prepared them for this unlikely pairing.
Aaron Nee and Adam Nee are relative newcomers to Hollywood. They teamed with Seth Gordon, who is credited with the story, and Oren Uziel and Dana Fox, who wrote the screenplay with them. Gordon’s been around a while, and he’s had some hits and misses. This idea was a hit in my mind. This fish out of water story was quite entertaining if I say so myself. It has a nice mix of action and romantic tension similar to that of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner and Harrison Ford and Karen Allen.
The film’s setting was an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and that setting was pretty beautiful. Constant shots of beaches and exotic jungles and mountains and streams were vividly brought to the screen. A magenta onesie worn by Bullock’s character stood out like a sore thumb during the scenes set in the jungle. The filmmakers even used this as a plot device at one point in the film, to great effect. This film looked gorgeous from the start.
The Lost City isn’t trying to do anything new we haven’t seen before with action comedies, but it has a charm that others don’t. The goofiness of Tatum’s character mixed with the oddness of Bullock’s character is perfect together. It’s like they’ve worked together for years. Their chemistry is infectious. The filmmakers and writers know where their bread is buttered, and it’s the relationship between these two characters. It’s comedy gold. Add in some other comedians and Brad Pitt’s glorified cameo, which was awesome, and you have a fun action-comedy.
3 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen
Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media