Released: 31st March
Seen: 11th July
One of the classic kinds of films we don’t get enough of is the romantic action adventure. You know the kind, films where a guy and girl randomly go to some far off land to try and hunt for some treasure, they exchange witty banter and eventually fall in love all while dealing with some overly hammy villain that’s there purely to raise the stakes. Classics like Romancing the Stone or The Mummy (the 1999 one) are great examples of this style of film. They were fun, over the top, clever and just seem to have fallen by the wayside lately. Well, thank goodness that The Lost City brought them back because they have been sorely missed.
The Lost City follows recent widower and romance novelist Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) who is on the tour for her latest book, The Lost City of D. On this tour she’s joined by the cover model of her books, a himbo of the highest order, Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum) which is awkward since Loretta is kind of just done with her book series and wants to get things over with. To make matters more complicated, Loretta gets kidnapped by the eccentric millionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) who believes that Loretta knows the way to find a lost treasure that is mentioned in one of her books. So begins a grand adventure filled with intrigue, action, murder and leeches.
From the very moment it starts, The Lost City just gets the tone of these films absolutely perfectly. It gets when to really play up the comedy or when to actually commit to the action scenes, though admittedly it does lean more into the comedy side of things. The film really gets what each of the three leads offers in terms of comedic sensibility and utilises that as much as possible. If you’ve missed Sandra Bullock’s classic physical comedy that she basically made her name on in the 90s, that’s here in full swing. If you enjoy Channing Tatum’s willingness to do anything for a laugh, he really pushes himself to bring that here. If you wanna see Dan Radcliffe swing for the fences with a sarcastically British supervillain well then buckle up, you’re in for some fun.
On top of just having some truly gifted comedic actors helming this, The Lost City also completely commits to that classic action-adventure look with the exotic locales and elaborate action sequences. They keep the big fight scenes easy to follow, never losing track of where all the key players are which makes for some genuinely exhilarating moments. Admittedly there are some choices that feel a little bit odd, such as underscoring a dramatic escape scene with the song Red Right Hand by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds… that song is of course most associated with Scream and is also just a bad choice for a scene that’s not at all dark or foreboding.
When they make the right choices though, The Lost City really works. Largely those choices include just leaning into being as silly as possible, having an entire escape happen with one person bound to a chair or an extended conversation about who is responsible for a henchman’s death are just a few of the really fun moments of this film. Every time the film leans into that tone, it really comes into its own as a unique entry into this genre. Sure, there are times when it kind of slips into cliche territory (it happens) but when it works it’s absolutely hilarious and downright charming, though that could be because the two leads just bounce off each other remarkably well.
The Lost City is just a fun little romp that doesn’t really try to be much beyond that, and that’s fine. It has some fun performances by a cast who seem to be game for everything and commit completely to the silliness of the film and deliver a good time for pretty much everyone. It’s the kind of movie that’s perfect for a lazy afternoon where you just want a little bit of entertainment without having to worry about anything else, I genuinely had a lot of fun and hope this will be the start of a series of adventures with Tatum and Bullock.