ADVENTURE returns to the big screen in The Lost City; a hilariously enjoyable, rom-com adventure hybrid full of snarky laughs and big-name cameos.

Loretta (Sandra Bullock) is a romance novelist, whose enthusiasm for the craft has substantially dimmed since her husband passed away. Now, as she released her latest novel, she finds herself keen to hang up the pen.

Her cover model, Alan (Channing Tatum) – or Dash, the character’s name he is known by for the fans who come to see him – hates this idea, because his life has blossomed through his association with the famous series.

Amidst a dramatic book tour, with the two at one another’s throats, Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) kidnaps Loretta. He believes that Loretta has translated the hidden text to find an ancient treasure in The Lost City of D, one of the main settings of her latest novel. Alan believes he is the man to track her down and save her – albeit with the help of one Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt), former special ops.

The Lost City requires a certain suspension of disbelief off the bat, mainly for the idea that society in any sense would immortalize a cover model in the way that this film does Dash. Despite this, once you do settle in and let those gripes go, you find yourself having a lot of fun with this piece.

Principally, that’s down to the zinging banter between the two leads. Bullock, who has proven time and time again her comedic chops, once again cements herself as one of the best actors in Hollywood. She’s funny, believably actionable, and witty.

She carries the romance well, and even looks fantastic in a pink sequin jumpsuit in the middle of the jungle. She is ably assisted by Tatum, who slots easily into one of his three typical roles (here playing the 21 Jump Street sort of persona).

Together, the one-liners fly thick and fast, the jungle seems a conquerable place, and the whole film is given a certain joie de vivre.

The rest of the cast performs well also, with Radcliffe hamming it up as the villain of the piece, and Brad Pitt stealing the show with his brief appearance.

From a plot perspective, this is well trodden ground; we’re not discovering any hidden gems in this screenplay. But for fans of Indiana Jones and the like, it will feel new enough, yet familiar enough, to go down very smoothly.

There’s a bit of action, a bit of drama and a bit of romance, without the hand on any one of those being played too heavily. The Lost City is, ultimately, a very well balanced, fast pace and zippy beast, and you’ll appreciate that levity throughout.

Review by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus

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