Try as I might, it’s sometimes just not possible to appreciate a film for what it is versus what it could have been. Such is the case with “The Lost City,” a warmed-over, mediocre adventure / romance that is reckless with its promising premise and charismatic cast. The wasted potential is a travesty for this highly anticipated chick flick.
Sandra Bullock plays reclusive romance novelist Loretta, who is on a book tour with her hunky cover model Alan “Dash” (Channing Tatum). The two don’t exactly get along, but they find themselves fighting for their lives in a remote jungle after an attempted kidnapping. It’s an odd couple, fish-out-of-water story that sounds an awful lot like the 1980s romantic adventure “Romancing the Stone,” which is considered by many (me included) as the gold standard of the genre. The problem is that instead of a loving homage, this feels like a cheap rip-off.
The attempts at humor are mostly unfunny, with only a few physical gags finding mild success. Bullock and Tatum have a fun chemistry, but there’s no real substance to Alan and Loretta’s relationship. It’s mildly believable that the pair would eventually end up as a couple, but only because they are faced with danger and death. The most amusing scenes involve Brad Pitt as an independent and resourceful rescuer, but his supporting turn is all too brief.
A film that sticks to a tried-and-true formula can be a positive attribute when it comes to mindless entertainment, but “The Lost City” is still a disappointment because it goes nowhere. It’s perfectly fine for a night out, but it’s not the type of movie that’s going to become a beloved classic.
By: Louisa Moore