Like her Speed co-star Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock is a star who never seems too far from a hit. There’s something about the girl-next-door charm of the Oscar winner that keeps people coming back even in an era where brands are more popular than stars.
Having found success with Gravity, Birdbox, and Ocean’s 8 over the last decade, Bullock returns to her old stomping ground of light comedy in The Lost City.
She plays Loretta Sage, an academic who turned to writing romantic-adventure novels following the death of her husband. To her frustration, the novels have found enormous success partly due to the popularity of their cover model, Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum).
Loretta resents Alan, who repeatedly tries to impress her. When the pair fall out during a book tour, Loretta is kidnapped by twisted millionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), who is convinced she has the key to finding a lost artefact mentioned in her books.
Alan sees the incident as a chance to play the hero, but his rescue attempt doesn’t go quite as planned. If you’re sick of dark superheroes or worthy Oscar fare, this is the film for you.
A light comedy in the vein of 80s hit Romancing The Stone, It largely involves the two charming leads negotiating dangerous forests, avoiding mercenaries, and of course becoming closer as the story goes on.
There’s excellent banter, and the concept of adventurers who aren’t good at being heroes is one that is always good for a laugh. Bullock manoeuvres a number of obstacles in an impractical sequin jumpsuit, and marvels at Tatum’s (off camera) manhood while rescuing him from leeches.
It’s lowbrow, harmless fun, carried by the likability of its cast. Bullock can do this role in her sleep, but forms the perfect counterpoint to Tatum’s charming Himbo. As for the Magic Mike star, there’s more than a little irony to him playing a famously attractive man who wishes to be known as something more, although he gives a surprisingly passionate speech about the merits of enjoying trash fiction.
Elsewhere, Radcliffe is having the time of his life as the villain who always seems to be teetering on the edge of a breakdown. Oh, and Brad Pitt also turns up as the all-action rescue specialist Jack Trainer in a goofy sort-of cameo.
Old fashioned in its approach, The Lost City is a warm and satisfying comedy for those who want something undemanding from their cinema visit.