The Lost City Review

The Plot

A bereaved romance writer gets reluctantly thrown into an exotic real life adventure alongside her handsome cover model when an eccentric tycoon becomes convinced her latest novel is the key to uncovering real life treasure in the ruins of a mythical lost city on a remote private island.

The Good

The Lost City is unapologetically silly fun of the highest calibre that delivers consistent laughs thanks to a perfectly playful script and a terrific line up of acting talent.

Hollywood icon Sandra Bullock successfully adds yet another memorable romantic adventure to her glittering cinematic cv. This latest romp as an introverted author dragged into an adventure quite literally ripped from the pages of her own book, takes its place proudly alongside Bullock’s most beloved work. She pairs effortlessly well with the films embarrassing riches of leading men, with Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt and most especially Channing Tatum.

Channing Tatum has spent much of his career perfecting his unique brand of legitimately handsome swagger and amiable idiocy. It’s an absolutely ideal fit for this role. There’s endless joy to be found in Tatum’s surprisingly sweet natured male model and his enthusiastically fumbling attempts at real life dashing heroism. Tatum’s brilliant buffoonery makes him quite literally the butt of many of the film’s best jokes. Routinely sacrificing his own dignity to ensure audiences’ get the greatest giggles.

Brad Pitt indisputably remains one of Hollywood’s most compelling leading men, but in The Lost City he is on astonishingly good ‘scene stealing’ form. As the ruggedly heroic Jack Trainer, Pitt injects some authentic action into proceedings and serves as an absolutely perfect comedic counterpoint to Tatum’s hapless but well intentioned model. Pitt’s own uniquely golden aura as a Hollywood superstar gives his character an even more hilariously impressive charisma. Making the absurd contrast between his ruthlessly efficient Special Forces vet and Tatum’s fumbling well-groomed wannabe even more entertaining.  In truth, not since Tom Cruise’s infamous appearance in Tropic Thunder has an unexpectedly A-List supporting turn so magnificently improved an already great comedy.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe clearly also delights in embracing his darker side as he revels in providing the film with a suitably grand pantomime villain. Bearded and immaculately suited his treasure hunting tycoon is an effective blend of well-spoken awkwardness and sneering intensity. Providing just enough genuine menace to propel the plot convincingly. A clumsier comedian would likely have taken the role too far and drowned out other performances by being too suffocatingly flamboyant. But Radcliffe wisely plays the part with enough sincerity to allow him to still play the ‘straight man’ when the film requires.

The end result of this smorgasbord of acting greatness is a film that exceeds expectations as a delightful does of hilarious high adventure. Poking gentle fun at pulp fiction page turners The Lost City captures many of the very best qualities of the eternally popular romance genre. The film is affectionate rather than acerbic and sincere instead of sarcastic, allowing audiences to revel in the good natured glee.  Making it a delightful rare treat with truly re-watchable charm.

The Bad

Much like the guilty pleasure romance novels the film playfully mocks, there is a certain level of predictability to its’ plot. The film treads mostly familiar paths towards obviously expected conclusions. However that really shouldn’t diminish the joy most audiences will undeniably have along the way.

It’s also fair to say that this is a romantic comedy that leans heavily upon its’ comedic charms rather than offering any especially steamy romantic chemistry. Even when the film does deploy Tatum’s famously well chiselled physique it’s exclusively played for laughs. Likewise the playful banter between him and Bullock tickles funny bones but rarely comes close to tugging meaningfully on any actual heartstrings. Providing plenty of giggles but little opportunity for those who want to be swept of their feet with swoon.

The Ugly Truth

The Lost City is a riotously funny ride that takes full advantage of an amazing a-list cast on top comedic form. Self-aware, sharply satirical and satisfyingly silly it’s the perfect antidote to the real world woes of 2022. Packed with memorable moments it’s a glorious haul of comedy gold that deserves to be enjoyed on the big screen.

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