Coming to grips with the past is the centerpiece of Bleecker Street’s family drama Montana Story. Writing and directing duo Scott McGehee and David Siegel collaborate again for the film, which I must warn viewers is a slow-moving drama.
Sandra Bullock & Channing Tatum make The Lost City a winner
Hollywood superstars Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum team up with directors The Nee Brothers for The Lost City from Paramount Pictures. The filmmaker’s latest directing effort is a throwback-styled treasure hunting romantic comedy.
Reclusive and dissatisfied middle-aged author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) writes about exotic places in her popular adventure novels that feature a fictional hero named Dash, portrayed by dimwitted but handsome cover model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum). While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), an eccentric billionaire with daddy issues.
Fairfax believes that the lost city in Loretta’s new book is accurate and that she knows the city’s location. Fairfax hopes Loretta can lead him to an ancient city’s lost treasure from her latest story. Despite having no survival skills and determined to prove he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue Loretta, much to the chagrin of Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), Loretta’s publicist.
Film buffs reading the synopsis of The Lost City will note the film has similarities to 1984’s Romancing the Stone. The assumption is correct with Bullock assuming the character template established by Kathleen Turner, Tatum steeping into the Michael Douglas role, and Daniel Radcliffe taking on the Danny DeVito character from that film. The Nee Brothers pen The Lost City’s screenplay with Oren Uziel and Dana Fox, from a story conceived by Seth Gordon.
That said, the influences are there, but that is part of the magic of the film. Bullock fully taps into her character, whose writing serves as a therapeutic outlet as she grieves for her late husband. The script paints Loretta as someone who has forgotten to enjoy the beauty of life and is content. On the flip side, Tatum’s Alan reveals in life and enjoys every minute.
Naturally, this creates excellent moments for some comedic gold for the two, which the duo revels in. There is never a moment where the chemistry lacks between the two. Kudos to the scriptwriters for allowing Bullock and Tatum moments in physical comedy and one-liner delivery. I also want to point out Daniel Radcliffe’s role as Fairfax, as he is having a blast portraying a villain.
The film’s best performance goes to Brad Pitt as Jack Trainer, a Navy Seal-turned-CIA agent. Pitt hams it up with significant effect to the point I would not mind a spin-off focusing on his character. Even the most casual viewers will know exactly where The Lost City will go with its plot. However, the journey to get there will keep you smiling.
Final Grade: B+
The Lost City opens in theaters tonight
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