REVIEW: Middling romcom is all to be found in ‘The Lost City’

This might be the most intense adventure a character played by Sandra Bullock has been on since “Speed 2: Cruise Control.”

In “The Lost City,” Bullock portrays Loretta Sage, an author who’s made a career out of writing steamy romance/adventure novels. She was once passionate about history and exploring, but she lost her drive when her husband passed away.

Loretta isn’t excited about her latest book tour, either, as she’s tired of dealing with Alan (Channing Tatum), a book cover model who takes a lot of the attention. Loretta ends up having to rediscover her passion for history, and find some courage, though, as she’s kidnapped by a billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe), who’s searching for a treasure referenced in one of her books.

Outside of a few moments of action, romantic comedy fans should find themselves right at home with “The Lost City.” The movie features two leads who begin at odds and then are shoved through a wild set of circumstances to bring them closer together.

There’s a formula at play, and it works to an extent. The film is able to produce some laughs and there are some heartwarming moments.

The problem is there’s not much creativity on display with the film. It’s a rather uninspired take on the genre, with few things to set itself apart from others.

Even the jungle adventure aspect feels somewhat stale, since even that element has been featured elsewhere recently. For example, the year 2017 featured both the live action “Snatched” and the animated film “Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie.”

Courtesy Paramount Pictures.

So, dropping the lead characters into that kind of setting doesn’t in itself make it all that much more compelling. The movie simply gets boring as it goes along, where a person’s interest may become lost just like the titular city.

What keeps the movie from being completely forgettable is the cast. Bullock is a natural in this type of role and she once again puts together convincing work in the genre.

The character is clearly fed up with the novel writing, yet lacks the motivation to get back into her interest in history. Bullock captures that, and she has the comedic timing.

Tatum has solid comedic timing, too. He’s already proven to be a strong comedic actor, especially in the “Jump Street” films, and this is no different. He is on point with the humor.

Stealing the show, though, is Radcliffe, who’s hamming it up big time as the villain. His character is so straightforward in his criminality that it’s comical, and Radcliffe manages to pull this aspect off.

“The Lost City” is, at best, a film to check out when it’s made available on a streaming platform. It boasts a good, committed cast, including a fun part by Brad Pitt, but it lacks in a lot of other areas. 2.75 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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