Review: The Lost City | SXSW 2022

Score: B+

Director: Adam Nee, Aaron Nee

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe

Running Time: 112 min

Rated: PG-13

With so much change and uncertainty in the last few years, it’s no surprise that nostalgia is making a comeback. And that nostalgia is finally reaching our film theaters. The Lost City, starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum, feels like a rom-com straight out of 2002 with a few modern updates. While it’s not exactly a brilliant film, it’s a fun comedy where you know exactly what you’re going to get.

All hair the return of our rom-com queen Sandra Bullock. Here, she plays Loretta, an archeologist turned romance author after the death of her husband. When dissatisfied rich kid Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) kidnaps her, believing her books contain the key to lost treasure, her mainstay cover model Alan (Tatum) decides to help rescue her from the jungle. Unsurprisingly, hijinks ensue.

The cast gives us exactly what we want and plays to their strengths. Bullock is awkward, impatient, and utterly charming. Tatum plays the clueless hunk and even manages to fit in some dancing (the man knows he’s at his most attractive when he’s dancing). Radcliffe is the perfect petulant British rich kid and is clearly delighted to play the stereotypical British villain. Da’Vine Joy Rudolph plays the exasperated friend/publicist well in a role seen in almost every rom-com. Since he’s in the trailer, it’s safe to say that Brad Pitt is a comedic delight in his cameo as rakishly handsome ex-military man Jack Trainer.

While the overarching plot points of The Lost City are comfortingly familiar, there are a few tweaks and jokes that place it in 2022. Besides Tatum in various levels of gratuitous undress (much more than Bullock), he also defends the overwhelmingly female readers of Loretta’s salacious books. Throw in some jokes about modern feminism and mansplaining and you’ve got a marginally modern update from a genre that had its heyday twenty years ago.

The Lost City is one of those films that is completely transparent about its intentions. Looking at the poster or watching the trailer will give you all the plot points you need. Still, it’s reassuring to see the return of everywoman Sandra Bullock and her lunkhead hunk Channing Tatum. It certainly won’t win any awards, but a good popcorn flick is always welcome.


About Katie Anaya

Katie Anaya