Land of the LostDirected by: Brad Silberling Cast: Will Farrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel Running Time: 1 hr 20 min Rating: PG 13
Plot:Dr. Rick Marshall (Farrell) is sucked into a parallel universe with his research assistant (Friel), and their redneck guide (McBride). The three of them have to find a way back to their own reality in a world of monkey men, dinosaurs, lizard people, and other crazy critters.
Who’s It For? Farrell fans with slightly lower expectations will be pleased. It isn’t anywhere on par with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but it’s still Will Farrell doing what he does best—cracking the rest of us up.
Expectations: “As long as this movie is mildly entertaining,” I declared to the world at large before striding into the theater, “I will be satisfied!” I’m not nearly as picky about comedies or action films as I am with horror.
Actors: Will Farrell as Dr. Rick Marshall: Will Farrell is the best when he taps into his sweeter, dopier humor. Yes, he’s still funny with a meaner streak (Step Brothers), but he’s paramount when he gets to be more harmlessly bumbling. In Rick Marshall, Farrell manages awkward and vulnerable underneath a slightly insecure intellectual superiority. It isn’t a subtle portrayal by any means, but it’s still great fun to watch. Score: 7
Danny McBride as Will Stanton: I love Danny McBride. Anyone who knows the story of the alleged “discovery” (I’m still not entirely convinced) of McBride by Will Farrell and Adam McKay has to freakin’ love Danny McBride. If you’ve seen The Foot Fist Way, you’re a fan—it’s just that simple. Here, he’s the harmless redneck who oscillates playfully between surprisingly quick and all out trashy. In this way, you have absolutely zero idea what’s going to come out of his mouth next, which gives McBride the ability to keep sneaking up on you. Score: 8
Anna Friel as Holly Cantrell: Friel will always be Charlotte “Chuck” Charles from Pushing Daisies to me, so I had a difficult time accepting Holly as a character. Friel isn’t as spontaneous as Farrell and McBride and she depends much more on “adorable” than funny, which meant the other two outran her for the bulk of the movie. Friel is still very likeable, but she couldn’t quite keep up. Put Tina Fey in that role and then you have yourself a real comedic showdown. Score: 6
Talking: This isn’t a quality movie, but the dialogue is a hoot. If not for the previews, you wouldn’t be able to predict what Farrell or McBride was about to say next and that’s my favorite sort of comedy. The old tired lines—a la “I’m getting too old for this,” or “I was afraid you were going to say that”—are wiped clean from Land of the Lost. The screenplay isn’t stellar by any means, but we essentially get to watch funny people we like goofing off, and I’m fine with that. Score: 7
Sights: The movie makes an effort to be a flashier reflection of the original television show, so you do run into the slightly bad lizard man costumes and cheesy, low-lying fog on an obvious movie set. The distinction is that the movie is trying for this effect as an homage to the television show, so it’s just funny without being visually offensive. Score: 7
Sounds: The soundtrack works. You wouldn’t want to rush out and buy it, but the songs selected work well with the scenes they are paired with. Score: 6
Best Scene:My favorite scenes involved Matt Lauer playing himself. Lauer is fantastic as a disgusted, patronizing version of himself reluctantly interviewing this pompous crackpot.
Ending: If not for Matt Lauer’s reentry into the movie at the very end, the ending would’ve been tame and a bit dull. More movies should have Matt Lauer playing himself.
Questions:How does Holly know how to speak monkey? Why don’t they save or even attempt to save the poor sap in the ice cream truck? The guy in the ice cream truck has feelings, too.
Rewatchability: I would happily rent this movie for a second viewing, but that would probably tide me over for some time.
OVERALL Land of the Lost isn’t quality by any means, but it is wacky and fun. If you’re not persnickety about comedies, you’ll be satisfied with Land of the Lost. There are some flagrantly dumb parts and some of the jokes go on for way too long, but I think it’s a pretty good representation of the original concept.
What is clear is that McBride and Farrell should make a dozen movies together annually until the day they both die. They should remake Titanic as a bromance. In fact, why don’t we just rid ourselves of the bloated, self-important actors that are basically just Hollywood gristle and let Farrell and McBride star in every single movie. I’d be happy with that.
Final Score: 6/10