Aaron and Adam Nee certainly have a solid vision when it comes to delivering high adventure comedy in The Lost City. The Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe led film is just one of many new experiments to find a team up to equal if not rival what Netflix’s Red Notice conveniently reignited the spark on–a twisted romance and high stakes adventure-drama. The first two have a schtick going, and although Radcliffe seems like the odd man out, he knows how to have fun with it and he surprised me as being an effective rogue.
In this tale, Loretta Sage (Bullock) is a lost soul. She’s never been the same ever since her husband died. This author hides behind her fiction to get by, but she’s suffering from more than just clinical depression. She thinks she can get past her problems by penning Harlequin adventure romance novels and what we see is that it’s making her feel worse. There are little details not said to flesh out her state of mind. We eventually learn she hates writing these tales. But when she gets tossed into the situation as found in the books, I can’t help but wonder if she experienced any of it at all back when she was with her husband who’s a globe trotting adventurer.
She’s a fish out of water when placed in those situations which are straight up Indiana Jones. Had she been prepared, would she know what to do? Probably not. She was more of a scholar in the husband-wife expedition team. It’s easy to tell that was her role when she lived that happily ever after.
But these days, she’s hiding away and not experiencing the life dreamt of from her books.
Alan (Tatum), who got a job to be the cover model for her novels, has it tougher. He doesn’t think he can make it in the rough and tumble entertainment business. His one gig–being a cover model–is all he’s got, and he’s not willing to let it go. After witnessing Sage get kidnapped, this thespian thinks he can become that hero from her books, and tries to rescue her.
However, Fairfax (Radcliffe) is a few steps ahead. He’s one of the few ‘fans’ who recognises Sage’s skills–to decode ancient writing and for picking one particularly lost civilization said to have a golden crown he so covets. His role feels out of place in this piece, and I had to wonder why would a wealthy billionaire want to pay attention to a third-rate writer when there’s better forbidden treasure to pursue? Given his resources, he could probably go searching for the Lost Ark instead.
Much of the adventure bounces between reveals of where these characters came from and how they can find that jungle gold. True to the genre it draws much of its action sequences from, we have everything ranging from chases, races and a tomb to where the action closes off with. But as for whether Loretta and Alan will ever see eye to eye, that’s best to find out for yourself. It is a pulp romance, after all.
3½ Stars out of 5