Romantic comedies are usually not my type of movie, as they are often boring and formulaic. However, I could also say the same for most action films in Hollywood, especially the Fast and Furious franchise. So what does Hollywood do? Combine these two formulaic genres into one to produce an actually funny and entertaining movie!
Loretta Sage (played by Sandra Bullock) is a middle-aged author of a fantasy romance novel titled The Lost City. The main character of her story, Dash McMahon is portrayed by a cover model named Alan Caprison (played by Channing Tatum). The two are supposed to tour together to promote her book, but have a terrible first event. Loretta is soon captured by billionaire Abigail Fairfax (played by Daniel Radcliffe) who wants her to translate ancient runes to help him locate a secret treasure on a remote island. When Loretta refuses, Fairfax chloroforms and kidnaps her. Alan discovers Loretta’s kidnapping and travels to go find her with the help of former CIA operative Jack Trainer (played by Brad Pitt).
Upon initially viewing the trailer, I didn’t have high hopes for this film, but I thought that it might be a dumb action-adventure type film. However, when I actually saw it, I surprisingly liked it! It’s so funny watching Channing Tatum playing the opposite of the usual type of guys he plays. While on the outside, Alan looks extremely fit and masculine, he secretly is a bit of a coward inside, having been too comfortable living a lavish life as a cover model. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt also plays a caricature of himself, this time as a tough, rugged badass who “dies” in the first twenty minutes of the film.
However, the best performance of the entire film has to go to Daniel Radcliffe as the antagonist, Abigail Fairfax. Radcliffe, best known for his role as Harry Potter, is often seen as the Child of Prophecy from J.K. Rowling’s famous book series. However, he is so much more than that, and his performance in The Lost City proves his acting range. Radcliffe fully sinks into the role of an eccentric billionaire and delivers a performance that makes you almost forget he was ever Harry Potter! Fairfax is both charming and charismatic, yet also the tendency to quickly lose his patience when things don’t go his way. And when he does, he has a penchant to threaten others with whatever he has in his hands. If anything, The Lost City proves that Daniel Radcliffe should be in more villainous roles.
Besides the acting, the humor in this movie is extremely self-aware. Most of the jokes mock the film’s circumstances and hit on point. The film makes several jabs at the fact that Alan is far from capable as Dash, helping to establish the very visible line between actor and character. Most of the time, we have to remember that actors are often not their film roles. I usually don’t like Channing Tatum’s films, as I find that he usually gets typecast as stereotypically macho characters. However, The Lost City proves that he’s still got the moves to be a bankable star and a solid comedic actor.
Even though he didn’t appear much in the film, Brad Pitt as Jack Trainer stole the spotlight in the few scenes he did have. His physicality added with his natural charisma makes his character memorable. And as for why I put quotations around his death in the plot synopsis is because even though he gets shot in the head, he comes back in a mid-credits scene, alive and well. As for how he survived, he claims that since humans can only use 10% of their brains, he simply switched to another 10%.
Overall, The Lost City is a fun and entertaining romantic-adventure film. With stellar performances by Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe, along with a superb joke lineup, I highly recommend you go give this film a viewing! And this is coming from someone who usually doesn’t like rom-coms!