The Lost City was my wife’s movie choice for our trip to the cinema and I knew little about it before going in, other than it starred Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. Even though I tend to avoid romantic comedies, this story about a reclusive romance novelist who gets caught up in a real life jungle adventure like those in her stories with the cover model from her books, turned out to be a surprisingly fun action-adventure that was full of laughs. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a highly successful, yet reclusive romance novelist whose stories revolve around a character called Dash McMahon, portrayed by cover model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum). Pushed into doing a book tour by her publicist Beth Hatten (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) with Alan (who she has little respect for), Loretta soon finds herself kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) and on an adventure she could only imagine.
It turns out that Loretta is more than a romance novelist; she’s a highly educated romance novelist whose latest book reveals she can translate an ancient language found on an Atlantic island that contains a priceless treasure known as “The Crown of Fire”. Abigail has read her book and is convinced that Loretta can decipher an ancient map that will lead him to the treasure.
But what Abigail didn’t count on was that, despite essentially being the exact opposite to fictional hero Dash MacMahon in heroics and bravery, Alan is determined to save Loretta and prove to her that he’s more than just a pretty face who takes his shirt off for the fans. It’s a crazy setup that works better than it sounds.
The Lost City is perfectly cast with a solid script that results in some great performances across the board. It should come as no surprise that Sandra Bullock delivers the comedic goods playing Loretta Sage, perfectly encapsulating the recluse who becomes a reluctant fish out-of-water on an adventure much like the stories she writes. A middle-aged romance writer who hates that her success comes from writing trash, the world only knows her for stories that revolve around a hunky guy with long, luscious hair, and not the painstaking research she did with her deceased archaeologist husband.
Channing Tatum absolutely nails it as Alan Caprison, the dimwitted male model who effortlessly produces comedy gold with his heartfelt idiocy and tenacity which is amplified by the comedic chemistry between him and Bullock. Tatum perfectly channels an innocence that makes you feel sorry for this love-struck himbo and you’re totally rooting for him to beat the bad guys and get the girl at the end. Fortunately, the story never reduces him to just comedic muscled eye-candy and there’s some moments of real substance that come from his character as he teaches the woman of his dreams some valuable life lessons.
Brother co-directors Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers, The Last Romantic) have made a fun action-adventure / romantic comedy that had me laughing throughout the predictable but well crafted story. Besides the solid performances and strong chemistry between the leads, what really stood out was the soundtrack. A big part of what makes the comedy work in The Lost City was the fantastic choice of music simplifying the laughs at key moments. They were cheezy and silly, sure, but given the tone of the film they proved to be real highlights for me.
The Lost City is a feel-good romantic comedy that made me laugh throughout its appreciably short running time. It’s silly and predictable but that’s the charm of movies like this. With great casting throughout, especially Bullock and Tatum, and plenty of exciting adventure to compliment the comedic moments, this works as both a perfect date movie or simply to spend a little time with likable actors who know how to have a good time.