Sandra Bullock is back in the genre that she arguably best known for–the goofball comedy–with The Lost City, an amusing if only sporadically funny adventure film that often seems more lost than found.
Bullock plays the depressed author of a popular romance book series, who is kidnapped by an eccentric millionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who believes that through her research she has discovered the location of a hidden treasure. Her books’ cover model (Channing Tatum) sets out to save her, enlisting the help of a ruggedly handsome mercenary (Brad Pitt) in the process. Antics ensue.
Both Bullock and Tatum are in their wheelhouse here, though it’s Tatum who is especially entertaining as the dimwitted but well-meaning Alan. He taps into the rhythm of the movie–directed by Aaron and Adam Nee, working from a screenplay by Oren Uziel, Dana Fox, and Adam Nee–early and often, making the most of the material even if the material is mid-level quality at best. Bullock, meanwhile, is rather disappointing; it may be the writing, but she seems as bored as her character is. She and Tatum are never quite able to generate the chemistry needed to substantially energize The Lost City.
It’s a shame, because Radcliffe turns in a ridiculously deranged performance, while Pitt is in on the joke, too.
Still, while a better written character and a bit more pizazz from Bullock may have made all the difference, it’s not hard to see why she didn’t try all that hard: The Lost City isn’t great. It has enough entertaining moments and seemingly off the cuff lines to elicit a few chuckles that it is by no means a complete waste, but comedy classic The Lost City is not. The writing simply isn’t there, the screenplay too reliant on the cast to turn throwaway dialogue into something more.
The adventure may be worth it, but only if you’re watching it for free on a streaming service you already subscribed to.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.