Movie review: Sandra Bullock back in fine comic form in 'The Lost City"

Fred Hawson

Posted at Apr 22 2022 06:11 AM

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in 'The Lost City.' Handout
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in 'The Lost City.' Handout

Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) was an author of best-selling steamy romance-adventure novels featuring a dashing fictional hero with long flowing blond hair named Dash. To drum up sales for her latest book entitled "The Lost City of D," Loretta's publicist Beth (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) organized a book tour together with the book's very popular cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), an activity the reclusive Loretta was very reluctant to do.

However, Loretta was abducted by an eccentric tycoon Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) who knew Loretta's academic background in archeology. He wanted her to translate an ancient piece of parchment that revealed the location of the legendary headdress called "Crown of Fire," which Loretta mentioned in her book. As the police were not helping, Alan sprung into hero mode, recruiting mercenary Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt) to help him get her back.

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Sandra Bullock really has magic in portraying roles like this, as she has done before in films like "Miss Congeniality" (2000) or "The Heat" (2013). For practically two thirds of this film, she was awkwardly dressed in a body-hugging, fuchsia, sparkly-sequined catsuit. She did not care that that outfit looked very silly on her, and that is what we love about her. Those frenetic chase scenes where Bullock was tied to a chair were simply hilarious.

Channing Tatum was a natural in this "himbo" role, even more so than he was in "Magic Mike" (2012). From his filmography, we know he can do rough and tumble action scenes, but the ones here were flavored with physical comedy. He also got to display his seductive dancing skills here in a Latin-flavored number with Bullock. The start was not smooth, but the romantic chemistry between Tatum and Bullock actually became quite good and convincing. 

Daniel Radcliffe notches up yet another weirdo character in his diverse list of roles as the main villain Fairfax. Oscar Nunez was quite funny in his short role as the cargo plane pilot who was smitten with Beth. 

However, the best parts of this film were those few minutes when Brad Pitt dazzled the screen with his luminous star power as the action hero Jack Trainer. While Pitt was onscreen with Bullock, we even forget that Tatum was her real leading man. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."