“Mystery of the Lost City”: Sandra Bullock, Dark Jungle


OYet he went there with the best intentions in the world. The trailer sent, if not dreams, at least some hope of an honest escape: Sandra Bullock as a writer of cheap adventure novels; Daniel Radcliffe as a billionaire kidnapper convinced to find an ancient treasure on a volcanic island thanks to her; Channing Tatum in the image of a stupid model saves his idol; Brad Pitt in a (very) small role as a muscular mercenary called in as reinforcements…

Of course, we did not expect a revolution and even the fact that this tropical vacation will come close in quality to the classics. In pursuit of the green diamond, the writers liked the model even more than Indiana Jones. But the prospect of an unpretentious spectacle still seduced us with its fragile glow, like the flickering of a firefly in the bowels of the Hollywood turnip jungle.

Chasing a wandering fly

Well NO, I missed it, a new disappointment! Once again, the essence was concentrated in the trailer. Beyond is almost desert. Often softer than a pouf at the end of the course, Mystery of the Lost City confirms that if there is a recipe that is now impossible to find in Hollywood, then this is a recipe for entertainment, of course, easy, but still providing a union minimum. During our press screening, a large roaming fly across the screen, sometimes on Sandra Bullock’s nose, Channing Tatum’s buttocks, or the blue sky over Movie Island, knew how to distract us more than those two hours of harsh nothingness. That is the degree of boredom.

We learn that the script for this romantic comedy would have sat on Paramount’s shelves for seven years – star and producer Sandra Bullock turned down the first draft, which she thought was pretty dated! We dare not imagine the squalor of this original version, so clichéd is the end result that flows smoothly like a sloth dangling from a palm tree.

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Mass is said almost from the prologue: a short pastiche of one of the most famous scenes In Search of the Lost Ark – a snake pit where the heroes Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood are thrown. Deep in the torch-lit crypt, Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum appear, lying side by side, tied to the stone floor, surrounded by reptiles and a big, verbose villain ranting. Consistency should make us laugh: gosh!

Sending within seconds with an old process such as Fabulousshe just smiles (very) vaguely. This bracket announces, first of all, the laziness of the film, created by two brother directors (Adam and Aaron Nee, almost unknown to the battalion), of whom it will be difficult for us to find even the slightest visual support in this large bush. The next three times, alas, will confirm our first impressions.

Underused Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt

Thus, Sandra Bullock portrays the tormented writer Loretta Sage, a successful telenovela writer whose fictional character, a tourist named Dash McMahon, is embodied on the covers by the very real Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum), an innocent model who dreams of stardom in reverse. in proportion to his career as a handsome servant. While on tour to promote her new book, Loretta is kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe)’s henchmen, convinced that she holds the secret to discovering an ancient relic on an island paradise. Caprison jumps on the first plane to find and deliver the one he is secretly in love with: a chase begins, after which nothing will be the same for Loretta and Alan.

Mystery of the Lost City his storytelling is entirely based on the spring of classical stylization: as in the aforementioned Philippe de Broca’s masterpiece with Jean-Paul Belmondo, we here immerse ourselves in the cliché of the history of exotic adventures in order to better satirize their kitsch. Problem: When a script offers only kindly derision without offering the slightest alternative, innovation, or even panache in staging and/or dialogue, the whole thing turns into a razor-sharp purr unworthy of even an episode. Koh Lanta.

In a straight line fantasy role in which he camped Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodonly Brad Pitt causes the welcome hilarity, but it only lasts ten minutes before a particularly nasty bad ejection. Mystery of the Lost City essentially counting on its star partner to electrify a plot as predictable as a marked route in the forest of Fontainebleau.

Karamba, he also missed there! Correspondence between Loretta and Alan is limited to an unfortunate practice that has reigned too long in American blockbusters (Marvel productions have made it a specialty): characters interrupt each other with verbal misunderstandings, hesitation close to a rumbling, and playing from dull words to nonexistent tumbles. Aside from the hilarious – but too little used here – scene based on leeches covering Channing Tatum’s buttocks and intimate parts, the actor’s enormous comic potential has never been revealed as much as it was in the hilarious 21 Jump Street and its continuation.

An analogy between his alter ego and Tatum’s long-standing image as a male prostitute, so deftly played by Steven Soderbergh in magic microphone, also quickly withered in favor of the linear “do not be fooled by appearance, the heart beats under the muscles!” In fact, the actor himself seems almost as bored as we are.

memory of galaxy quest (less good)

The nascent love story between our two adventurers among the coconut trees, sewn together with white thread, gives an indelible impression of artificiality even during a supposedly touching instant confession. The individual evolution of Loretta and Alan suffers from the same programmatic laziness felt by the vaguely resigned viewer. Nothing to do with the great Harrison Ford/Karen Allen tandem relationship in the first Indiana Jonesnor with the hilariously explosive sexual tension between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in In pursuit of the green diamond.

Sorry, dear millennials, but on that front, the 1980s were something else! AT Mystery of the Lost Citywe kiss without fever, run without passion, grow up without surprise, and shoulder-to-shoulder with an ordinary villain until the final coup de theater of very relative strength, quickly drowned under a hundredfold morality (in the end: “Always believe in your dreams”). Tintin to wake up volcano: instead of molten lava, we end up with a trickle of sugar-free marshmallows Poor tectonics next to the plate… Once again, we’ll save you from a quota of script labels, happy coincidences, and other mind-blowing Deus ex machina, allowing Loretta and Alan to find the trail of King Calaman’s fiery crown, coveted by their pursuers. .

This outfit is not even so bad as to make us laugh, just mean and vain, memory parasitizes on our attention, along with our fly on a spree: galaxy quest Dina Parisot (1999), a small masterpiece imitation of the universe star way. Its protagonist, a former actor played by Tim Allen, began his first act by hiding with disdain and bitterness in the fan conventions of the sci-fi series that once made him famous. A starting point like Loretta Sage’s, followed by an existential revival through many adventures, halfway between parody and genuine space opera homage. The main difference between galaxy quest and Mystery of the Lost City ? One was written with a real discourse about love for the imaginary, many endearing characters, including the second knives (those Secret… almost non-existent), excellent production ideas and emotions that cause tears in the final credits. The other is just Powerpoint film, expendable and odorless, revisiting the comforter culture popularized over and over again. very strange things, but never going beyond its concept and shaking up its actors. A minimum of service that will definitely not be superfluous in the dull jungle of products that you quickly see, you quickly forget. Unless a disturbing fly lands on your screen…

“Mystery of the Lost City” by Adam and Aaron Nee (1:52). National release April 20th.


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