Updated: Apr 5, 2022
In an inappropriate manner for serious consideration of movies, I happily give points to projects where Channing Tatum takes off his shirt. Which means I almost always say at least one nice thing about any movie featuring Tatum. Since others react the same way as me, Sandra Bullock and her co-producers of The Lost City make sure their movie gets its positive torso revelation points—plus they up the ante by lingering on Tatum’s bare backside as well. Never quite sure when a shirt-free moment would arrive, I stayed alert through the entire movie.
But then, action movies should inspire more than usual levels of attentiveness given their propensity for fast moving chases, exciting locations, and frequent explosions. The Lost City includes those basics, taking advantage of Dominican Republic jungle sites for its exotic setting. Action combines with comedy through the project’s likeable cast. Granted, Daniel Radcliffe steps in as a bad guy, and by intention, his Harry Potter roots make him more outrageous than threatening. Bullock gets top billing and recycles her key attributes for box office appeal as a personable presence who plays well with others. She steps aside and looks bemused at Tatum’s studly appearance, allowing him to showcase the dance skills and comic timing that worked for him in other projects like Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street.
Bullock gives extra scenes to Da’Vine Joy Randolph, a Tony nominee who deserves more big screen attention. Bullock also lets Brad Pitt steal the show…or perhaps he steals it without permission, but she doesn’t seem to mind. An overall sense of affability highlights The Lost City, which breaks no new ground in its genre. Rather than explore new directions, it follows clearly marked footsteps of Romancing the Stone—which in turn drew from Indiana Jones. Like those movies, The Lost City provides pleasant escapism.