The Lost City Is A Feel-Good Adventure

I’ve been a fan of fantastical adventure movies my entire life. I remember my mom taking me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark when it was first released in theaters. This movie, along with countless others, began my obsession with finding lost treasures and exploring booby-trapped tombs. Alas, being a whip-wielding, gun-toting archaeologist was not in the cards for me. The 80s definitely latched on to his idea, with similar films like Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, and of course the sequels to what started it all for me.

Lorette Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a high adventure romance novelist who is struggling to find her place among the newest generation of readers. Trying to navigate the world of hashtags and tweets, she begins to wonder if this is the last adventure she’ll ever write. Still reeling from the death of her husband, the person who inspired and shared all of her adventures, she lacks the motivation and drive to leave her apartment and live again. On what is to be her final book tour, she is joined by her muse and cover model Alan (Channing Tatum) to discuss her latest book, only to discover that the fans are more interested in Alan’s bare chest and not the contents of her final work.

Discouraged and disgusted by what her life has become she walks off stage determined that this will be the end of her adventures. Leaving the venue, she is abducted and whisked away to a private meeting with the infamous Abagail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) who has uncovered the lost city of D (hence the name) and feels she holds the keys to the final resting place of the crown of fire. Lorette is reluctant to join his adventure, so Fairfax is forced to “convince” her to accompany him, time is short of course because an active volcano is on the verge of covering the entire city in lava.

Alan witnesses the abduction and teams up with Lorette’s Editor Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) and Ex-Navy Seal turned meditation guru Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt) to track down where they are taking her. Utilizing a version of Find my iPhone they are able to identify a small island in the Atlantic and they all set out on a mission to rescue her. What could possibly go wrong?

It’s easy to draw similarities to The Lost City and Romancing the Stone. Both involve a popular author who is forced into an adventure against their will. Much like that movie, Sandra Bullock’s portrayal of an incredibly strong woman who challenges herself to overcome insurmountable odds is the focus of the film. In what certainly feels like a typical role reversal, it’s Alan whose constant attempt at being the macho man who regularly requires rescuing, much like a damsel in distress. It’s a refreshing and consistently humorous approach that both Tatum and Bullock pull off in a believable fashion. The chemistry between the characters is hard to deny and it’s fun to watch their relationship transform as the film progresses.

Brad Pitt does an outstanding job as Trainer, an action hero star who somehow has found his way into the wrong situation. While some folks may have trouble removing Harry Potter from Daniel Radcliffe, he does a believable yet over-the-top (in a good way) portrayal of the main antagonist. Finally, Da’Vine Joy Randolph brings her strong, and incredibly funny character to tie everything together.

I’ll admit that based solely on the previews I had seen, I had misgivings going to the show. I thought it would be another cash-in on familiar 80’s movies in an attempt to profit on the nostalgia of its target audience. While it certainly draws much of its inspiration from movies that have come before it, think of a combination of Romancing the Stove and The Proposal, much like the adventure they set out on, it draws it’s own map. The film won’t win any awards for originality, and it clearly is done with tongue firmly in cheek, there is something to be said about a movie that you can go to and simply escape the happenings of the world for a couple of hours.

The Lost City isn’t the best adventure movie of all time, nor is it the best romantic comedy, but it’s not trying to be either. It’s a cute movie about a group of reluctant people who set out on a grand adventure and find love along the way. Based on the previews alone I could certainly understand why people might choose to give it a pass, but honestly, a cute feel-good movie might be just what the world needs right now. It’s a movie that will leave you feeling happy and that is the point of it after all, don’t you think?

3.5 out of 5 stars