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The Crack Magazine

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The Lost City

Director: Aaron Nee, Adam Nee

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Danielle Radcliffe, Brad Pitt, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nuñez

That increasingly rare thing, the Star Vehicle returns with this aggressively adequate adventure comedy in the ‘Romancing the Stone’ mould.

Bullock is Loretta Sage, a writer of romances in which her heroine is paired up with hunky hero Dash McMahon. We meet Loretta, once a serious archelogy academic, as she is being pushed by her no-nonsense business publisher Beth (Randolph) into a press conference to promote her latest book. Also fielding questions is Alan (Tatum), the simple but sweet cover model for Dash, because this is something that definitely always happens at book launches.  When it quickly becomes apparent that the predominantly female audience are there just to gawk at Alan, Loretta petulantly announces that she is going to kill Dash off.

On leaving, Loretta is abducted and taken to the lair of Abigail Fairfax (Radcliffe), a wealthy media scion with daddy issues who needs Loretta’s archaeological know-how and translating skills to locate the titular lost city ‘D’ and its fabled treasure The Crown of Fires. He flies her to a tropical island where he believes D is located. Alan sets off in pursuit, enlisting an old pal, rugged Navy Seal Jack Trainer (an amusingly intense and purposeful Pitt) for the rescue. Once Loretta is freed, a cross-island race ensues to locate the fabled city.

The plot pootles along amiably enough in a mildly amusing fashion, without scoring any major laughs.  Bullock, whose comic acting can be subtlety-adverse, thankfully reigns in the mugging here. Tatum’s sensitive thicko feel overfamiliar, but the actor is game enough, and Radcliffe’s creepy, petulant man-child Abigail is fun.

There’s an attempt to invert genre stereotypes, in its central romance between a young man and an older woman, and by having Alan as the one who is mostly in distress, initially anyway. The makers display little aptitude or interest in the adventure aspects though, and the ersatz CGI jungle setting is a little off-putting.

It’s a breezy couple of hours, nothing more.

The Lost City is out now David Willoughby

Follow David on twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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