‘The Lost City’ review: charming odd-couple comedy that’s surprisingly rare

Original characters in a blockbuster? And they aren't superheroes? Surely not

The Lost City is a first-class adventure film of the type they don’t make much anymore. Sandra Bullock plays bored author Loretta, a woman who churns out novels full of excitement while her own life is devoid of it. Channing Tatum is Alan – a buff model found on the covers of Loretta’s books. Together they make a mismatched couple who get caught in a kidnap attempt that lands them in an enjoyable jungle romp. What makes this blockbuster special, though, is that neither of these characters are superheroes – or part of a massive franchise. Very un-2022.

At promotional readings, Alan is of more interest to Loretta’s fans than she is. After one particularly chaotic reading, the author is kidnapped by oddball billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe on deliciously creepy form) and taken to a tropical island. Abigail thinks Loretta can help him track down some treasure and more high-jinks ensue as Alan tries to save the day with the help of proper hero Jack (a scene-stealing turn from Brad Pitt). Charming yet dimwitted Alan and uptight Loretta must work together to escape Abigail and his henchmen. As you’d expect, things don’t go according to plan.

The Lost City
Daniel Radcliffe stars as the film’s quirky villain, Abigail. CREDIT: Paramount

Both go on (slightly predictable) emotional journeys too. Alan is fed up with people thinking of him as a useless hunk – especially Loretta, who eventually learns to lighten up when the pair get to know each other. If it veers into cliché and relies on tropes from old movies shown on wet bank holiday weekends, that’s no huge problem. When you’ve got talent like this giving their all it’s hard not to have fun. Magic Mike superstar Tatum is always a treat, while Bullock still has the screen presence that made her a star in ‘90s hits such as Speed and Demolition Man. Da’Vine Joy Randolph (great in Dolemite Is My Name) is a scream as Loretta’s publicist Beth, too.

The Lost City isn’t cutting-edge entertainment, but it is a decent action film boasting a great cast and some good jokes, without a superhero in sight. That alone is cause for recommendation.

Details

  • Director: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee
  • Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe
  • Release date: April 15
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