The Lost City

  • 02 Apr - 08 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

How charming is The Lost City? So charming that the villain is played by Daniel Radcliffe. So charming that it leaves you wondering why nobody has asked Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum to host the Oscars, or make an Ocean’s 8 sequel in which he’s the mark, or team up for a series of PSAs in which they just banter for 30 seconds and make everyone feel better.

The Lost City, directed by brothers Aaron Nee and Adam Nee, is no masterpiece; you sense that in the hands of a lesser cast, it might even have been a bit of a slog. Its story feels both ridiculous and predictable: Loretta Sage (Bullock), the reclusive author of bestselling romantic adventure novels, gets kidnapped by an eccentric rich dude (Radcliffe) who hopes she can lead him to a lost treasure in an ancient city alluded to in her recent book. Alan (Tatum), the absurdly handsome cover model for her book series, takes it upon himself to rescue her. Lots of running about in the jungle ensues, along with other complications that you can likely figure out for yourself.

But Bullock and Tatum take hold of the material and turn it into an enchanted screwball. These two characters, we learn, don’t initially like each other very much: Loretta complains to her long-suffering agent (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) that “he’s always glistening all over the place”; Alan calls Loretta a “human mummy,” only to be reminded that mummies are human. After the kidnapping, Alan engages the services of a contractor skilled in jungle rescue (a grinning Pitt) but insists on coming along on the mission, “for backup and awesomeness.”

The comic chemistry between these two is off the charts, and it’s such a pleasure to see Bullock, who’s been taking a detour into heavy drama lately, reminding us that she’s both the most likable of stars and a brilliant comedian. Watch her variety of funny walks; note how Loretta’s posture changes in that jumpsuit (it’s as if she’s apologising for it); and listen as both she and Tatum mutter asides to each other that feel entirely spontaneous. Maybe they are? Here’s hoping these two team up again, immediately; we need them.