The opening scene of The Lost City shows novelist Lorretta Sage, played hilariously by Sandra Bullock, stranded with Alan, a model played by Channing Tatum, in a stone temple surrounded by snakes. Tatum looks completely transformed in a long blond wig, reminiscent of the butter-hawking Fabio. Turns out the scene is an idea in Sage’s head, as she struggles to finish her most recent romance novel.
Think adventurous romance meets treasure hunting, with similarities to Romancing the Stone (hard to believe that premiered nearly 40 years ago). Critics also liken this film to The Mummy, and National Treasure. You get the gist of the premise here.
A recluse after the death of her husband, Sage is struggling to finish her latest novel and when she does, she is coerced by her publisher to go on a book tour. Bullock coming out in a tight, sequined purple jumpsuit, which she ends up wearing for a good portion of the movie, adds to the comedic aspect of the film. She ends up being kidnapped by the henchmen of Abigail Fairfax, an eccentric billionaire, played cunningly by Daniel Radcliffe. He has a passion for the unobtainable, and in this case is after the rare crown of fire diamond necklace. Sage is transported to an island, where Fairfax has set up camp and begun excavation. He needs her to translate hieroglyphics to find the necklace’s precise location.
Back at home, Alan recruits Jack Trainer, a cool, long-haired Navy SEAL turned CIA agent, played by Brad Pitt in a cameo role, to help rescue Sage. Even the perilous scenes are humorous, especially when Sage is strapped to a chair and transported by wheelbarrow and then small clown-type car. As they are being chased through the jungle, her sparkly jumpsuit comes in handy, as she drops sequins to trick the bad guys
After swimming through the river to escape, Alan ends up with leeches all over his backside. Channing drops his drawers, as Bullock gingerly pulls the leeches off. The sparks start to fly when he magically has a hammock handy to spend the night in the jungle, and they continue when the two dance together in the small village.
After deciphering the hieroglyphics, Sage can’t resist the urge to find the treasure located in Calaman’s tomb, within a nearby cenote, where they once again encounter the egocentric Fairfax. The treasure, not what it is presumed to be, turns out to be much more sentimental for the author and her cover model as they get to know each other.
Sage’s agent Beth, played by Da’Vine Joy Randolph, is tenacious as she strives to get to the island to find and save her author, even travelling by animal cargo plane. Be sure to listen to the music throughout, as it sets the tone for the explosive, funny, and sometimes provocative scenes.
I’ve loved Sandra Bullock since Miss Congeniality marathons with my daughter, and I admit to missing the rom-coms that were previously so popular but have faded away as other genres garner bigger audiences. Bullock is also a producer on this film and said in a recent interview that this is her last role indefinitely, as she steps back to focus on her children.
You are sure to be entertained throughout this slapstick treasure hunt, with its all-star cast. The whole escapade will have you smiling and rooting for the characters, as they face deadly encounters, keeping the comedic elements throughout.
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Genre: Adventure, Action, Comedy
Director: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee
Actors: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Ratcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nunez
Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (suggestive material/language, some violence)