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Sunday, March 27, 2022

The Lost City 2022 * * * Stars


2022's The Lost City is just plain fun. Escapists and popcorn munchers are welcome. It's one of those action-adventure vehicles where the protagonists supply the sarcastic quips in the face of swashbuckling danger. "Jungles eat people like us". Need I say more.

Directed with jungly cinematography by those Nee brothers (Aaron and Adam), "City" is like the goofy cousin of a certain '84 Robert Zemeckis flick and any Indiana Jones endeavor. It's a riff but a good riff that's not to be taken as serious. There's supposed hidden treasure, chases, snakes featured, and for added effect, leeches too.

The Lost City stars Sandra Bullock as a novelist who gets kidnapped when one of her stories reveals the location of fortune in an ancient burgh (sound familiar?). The role of writer Loretta Sage is perfect for a bumbling, physical comic like Bullock. It's like her agent said, "oh yeah, this is a no-brainer".

"City" also has Brad Pitt in it as a Navy Seal (Jack Trainer) sent to rescue Sage from the already rich baddies. When he exits, well it's almost a buzzkill. Piggybacking on his intimidating persona via Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pitt just reminds us again that he's a legend. His bone-crunching action sequences in "City" give the film a shot in the arm that doesn't quite sustain for the rest of the running time (1 hour-plus). Sure "City" is motion full tilt but finishes with less cowbell. 

In thinking back, "City's" look could almost pass as boost animation. The dialogue is improvised, the characters are dispassionate (yet funny), and because of the breezy tone (intertwined with PG-13 violence), The Lost City is a true to type, moviegoer's movie. It's basically one of the reasons we hit the cineplex on a Friday at 7-ish. Call it "Advancing" the Stone.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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