The Lost City (CREDIT: Paramount Pictures)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nuñez, Brad Pitt, Raymond Lee, Bowen Yang

Directors: Aaron and Adam Nee

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for A Few Bursts of Violence and Strategically Shot Nudity

Release Date: March 25, 2022 (Limited)

Should The Lost City be discovered, or should it remain lost? That is the question. Or maybe it’s not really the question, but I’ll nevertheless go ahead and ask it because I’d like to have something to focus this review around. And by bringing up the topic of focus, I don’t mean to imply that this film lacks focus. Far from it, in fact! You heard it here first, folks: this is a movie with a straightforward plot that’s easy to follow. Sandra Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a novelist who gets kidnapped and taken to a legendary location from her latest book, while Channing Tatum plays the ditzy cover model who attempts to rescue her, and eventually they make their way out the other end. It’s globe-trotting, high-stakes fun that’s designed to be oohed, ahhed, and laughed at. And I imagine that pretty dang close to 100% of audiences will know exactly when to provide those gasps and chuckles.

So if I have one big criticism about The Lost City, it’s that it’s perhaps a little too straightforward. I hoped for some charming repartee between Bullock and Tatum, as well as a full course of comic relief supporting performances from the likes of Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, and Bowen Yang. And that’s exactly what I got! But not much more. There’s one surprising development early on involving one of the biggest stars, but afterwards I was left with a sense of, “Yes, that was an adventure.” Here’s the deal: if you’re going to cast Daniel Radcliffe as an eccentric billionaire villain, things should probably get unabashedly weird. Instead, they only get kind of weird. Who knows, maybe I was just infected by the malaise that Loretta was giving off by resenting her career and audience.

But here’s what stuck with me in a welcome way, and why The Lost City might just be worth tracking down. A showcase scene involves Bullock peeling leeches off Tatum after a jungle river swim, which necessitates him dropping trou to make sure she checks every crack and crevice. They keep it PG-13, but this is a classic case of survival-minded lack of modesty that keeps things rolling along. And then there’s an unforgettable performance from Oscar Nuñez (aka Oscar from The Office) as a guy who has a plane and a goat. It makes sense in context, or at least part of it does. And the rest that remained nonsensical is where I derived most of my joy from. So I guess my answer is: I’d like to find this titular city while still feeling like I’m at a loss.

The Lost City is Recommended If You Like: Sandra Bullock unexpectedly witnessing her male co-stars in the buff

Grade: 3 out of 5 Cover Models