Lost In London Review

The Plot

A semi-autobiographical account of Woody Harrelson’s crazy night out in London as he lurches from one increasingly bizarre calamity to the next whilst trying to merely get home to his wife and family in time for a magical Harry Potter set visit.

The Good

Lost In London represents a truly unique cinematic achievement having been shot in a single take and screened live simultaneously to hundreds of cinemas worldwide. It’s a concept so ambitious and almost entirely unprecedented that irrespective of any other qualities the film may boast this alone makes it fascinating viewing. Even more impressive and praiseworthy is that not only does the film manage to succeed in delivering a seamlessly continuous experience but it does so across dozens of locations spread over the heart of one of the world’s most famous cities. The precisely choreographed and meticulously planned results are a big screen experience which is both compellingly real and convincingly cinematic.

With every single frame of the film crafted around the performance of writer, director and leading man Woody Harrelson it’s impossible to underestimate just how much weight placed upon his undoubted acting talents. In truth few actors would be capable of sustaining a single take feature length story which has so many complex moving parts and genuine mix of comedy and subtle tragedy. Harrelson is one of the rarely gifted performances with the range, nuance and natural screen charisma to hold something like this together.

The film adds another layer of meta intrigue by casting Woody in a semi-autobiographical tale that blurs the lines between fact and fiction. It’s certainly interesting for audiences to ponder just how much of the implausible misadventure is rooted in embarrassing fact. The mere fact that any of it happened is in itself an entertaining proposition.

Although Harrelson undeniably deserves extensive praise the strength of a varied and strong supporting cast shouldn’t be underestimated. The motley inhabitants of London’s nightly streets, clubs, cabs and police stations provide the film with plenty of laughs and some unexpectedly poignant moments too. Though cameos form Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson may be crowd pleasing delights it is the unsung heroes of the less recognisable co-stars that made this unique piece of film a successful reality rather than just a fanciful concept.

The Bad

Obviously the unique nature of filming imposes occasional limitations on the availability of camera angles and the pace of storytelling. Though thankfully it’s surprising just how barely noticeable this is. The film is also entirely built around Harrelson’s central performance. While undeniably impressive and charismatic obviously anyone who isn’t a fan of Harrelson’s may find the films entire duration a long time to spend exclusively in his presence. Similarly some audiences may marvel at the film’s technical achievements but for one reason or another find the slightly self-aggrandising tale of personal misadventure and largely self-inflicted calamity less appealing.

The Ugly Truth

Lost In London is not only a unique cinematic experiment but also an entertaining and emotionally subtle story the only serves to further cement Woody Harrelson’s status as an actor, storyteller and cult hero.

Review by Russell Nelson

Leave A Comment