Channing Tatum has had an interesting rise to stardom. Many don’t realize that he got his start in Coach Carter, but then stole the show in the first Step Up film. Since then he has had roles in what seems like the gamut of genres, including Sci-fi (Jupiter Ascending), action (GI Joe, Haywire), historical fiction (The Eagle), and even straight dramas (Foxcatcher, Side Effects), many with prestigious directors who love to cast.
And there’s no doubt as to what he’s best at: playing a lovable dumb hunk. He does it well and often and I would argue that nowhere does he do it better than in The Lost City.
The Lost City is the story of a would-be-linguist-turned-romance-novelist (Sandra Bullock) who is tired of publishing “shlock.” After she is forced to promote her latest book in a sequin onesie with the cover model of her books (Channing Tatum) by her agent (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), she finds herself kidnapped by an eccentric rich young villain (Daniel Radcliffe) who intends to take her to an island where her linguist skills could help him uncover an ancient treasure.
We aren’t told much about the relationship between Bullock’s and Tatum’s character history, but we don’t really need to know. This film is funny enough that the audience will forgive plot holes or even lack of character development. Although they do try to have some character development, it’s the comedy that works.
Bullock does fine and is her usual charming self, which makes sense because she is most at home in the genre that she helped define in the 90’s. She is obviously having the time of her life here and the chemistry she has with Channing is pretty great. She is not afraid to get dirty and seems to be genuinely committed to the comedy bits, which helps sell the silliness of it all as well as the paper thin premise.
It’s not a spoiler, but there is a Brad Pitt cameo where he steals every scene he’s a part of, even when he’s off screen on a phone call. Although they did make him look a bit less handsome than normal, probably to contrast the cover model looks that Tatum is sporting.
Unfortunately it was hard to buy into Radcliffe’s villain. The person I brought with me and I both agree that it’s still hard to see him as anything but Harry Potter when he does the exact same accent. But also fortunately, it was easy not to care about it because, again, it was so funny.
The Lost City is one of funniest PG-13 films in recent memory. Although it’s a Romantic Comedy, the Comedy part makes up for anything else lacking in the movie. It’s Channing Tatum finest comedic performance to date.
Because the protagonist is a romance novelist, there are more than a few comments that are inappropriate for younger viewers. Also, although it’s done for comedic effect, a male behind is shown for about a minute on camera.