Review: Bullock, Tatum find love, laughs in ‘The Lost City’

“The Lost City” stars Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum in a new action-comedy as a writer of romance novels and her cover model, respectively, who encounter a villain played by Daniel Radcliffe and a hunky heartthrob in the deadly jungle in the form of rescuer Brad Pitt.

The Lost City movie poster 1
"The Lost City" is a new action-comedy playing at the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter and the Sunset Cinema in Jenkins.
Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe are up to some serious funny business in “The Lost City.”

The new action-comedy was recently released in theaters and is playing at the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter and the Sunset Cinema in Jenkins.

Bullock is a romance novel writer with a crisis of confidence following the death of her archeologist husband. Tatum is the longtime cover model for her widely successful books.

This is not a romance novel. Jungles eat people like us.
— Loretta Sage

Radcliffe coerces Bullock to aid him in his jungle adventure after he discovers a translation of a passage from an ancient culture’s language in her latest romance novel.

The eccentric billionaire kidnaps Loretta Sage, the reclusive author played by Bullock, while she is on a book tour with Alan Caprison, who is played by Tatum, in the two-hour jungle adventure.


Radcliffe’s Abigail Fairfax is convinced a lost treasure — “The Crown of Fire” — exists on a remote Atlantic island, based upon Sage's actual research for her latest novel, “The Lost City of D.”

Caprison witnesses Sage being taken against her will, and the secretly enamored cover model sets out to rescue her and prove to everyone that he’s more than just a beefcake or eye candy.

The comically inept Caprison says at one point in the motion picture, which is rated PG-13, that he’s certified in CPR — and CrossFit — as Sage is understandably skeptical of his prowess.

Brad Pitt shows up early on in the film as Jack Trainer, an ex-Navy SEAL-turned-CIA operative, who is recruited by Caprison for the rescue mission deep in the exotic, forbidding jungle.

The Lost City movie poster 2
"The Lost City" is a new release playing only in movie theaters. Channing Tatum plays a cover model and Sandra Bullock plays a writer of romance novels who are thrown together in a jungle adventure filled with action, comedy and romance.
Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

Pitt as the ruggedly handsome yet remarkably proficient real-life hero who threatens to upend Caprison’s plan to be Sage’s savior is basically an extended but comic cameo by the actor.

Tatum is the butt of many jokes and he proves he is unafraid to make an fool out of himself in the movie, especially in one graphic scene where leeches attach themselves to his buttocks.

Caprison freaks out and disrobes in a moment’s instance and insists Sage remove the bloodsuckers from his backside in the scene that had the audience I was with in stitches.

Frank Lee
Frank Lee

“This is not a romance novel. Jungles eat people like us,” Sage says to Caprison.


Sage and Caprison forge on after their escapade in the river, but Fairfax is hot on their trails with plenty of money and men at his disposal in their collective race against time to find the treasure.

An active volcano threatens to engulf the island in its deadly lava and ashes at any moment, so the trio must hurry if they have any prayer of a chance of finding The Crown of Fire and fleeing.

Sage is still grieving the loss of her late husband but starts to come out of her shell while the well-intentioned if naive Caprison attempts to prove he’s more than just a pretty face and bod.

Tatum was an exotic male dancer in real life and plies his charms in “The Lost City” as someone who is aware of his sex appeal but proves he has also the comic chops and timing for films.

Radcliffe is best known for his starring role in feature film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s bestsellers about Harry Potter, an orphaned wizard who grew up before moviegoers’ eyes.

Radcliffe’s portrayal of Fairfax is yet more proof he can tackle adult roles. And while noticeably shorter in physical stature than Bullock or Tatum, Radcliffe in the movie is manically menacing.


“The Lost City” currently holds a 75% approval rating among critics and an 85% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television.

The critics consensus reads: “‘The Lost City’ doesn't sparkle quite as brightly as some classic treasure-hunting capers, but its stars' screwball chemistry make this movie well worth romancing.”


FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .

I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The weekly newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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