movie poster for The Lost City. A man and woman walk through a jungle with a volcano in the distance. She is Sandra Bullock, a slim brunette, with hair down past her shoulders, wearing a pink sequined jumpsuit that has been cut into shorts. He is Channing Tatum, wearing a dirty white t-shirt and khaki pants with a backpack and an travel neck pillow around his neck, pulling a rolling suitcase. There are also ruins in a background as well as a small blue car with a luggage rack. A goat stands in the rack.
March 1, 2024

Review: The Lost City

We originally watched this movie in July – but because I had honored the SAG-AFTRA strike, I’d put this in drafts and absolutely forgot about publishing it.

The Lost City was another movie that we’d meant to watch awhile ago. We decided to watch it while celebrating our anniversary. This ended up being the perfect choice, as it’s a story that’s filled with romance. Not always in the way you might expect. Think of it as if Indiana Jones was written to the female gaze. Action with heart.

The Lost City: the plot

Sandra Bullock plays romance writer Loretta Sage, who we first see struggling to finish her latest book. Her long-running Lovemore series, featuring Dr. Angela Lovemore and Dash McMahon. The opening montage shows her struggling both to write the story about The Lost City, but also struggling with depression. She ends the book on a sad note, and looks into her dead husband’s office. His work as an archaeologist clearly had inspired her.

She arrives to the book tour, thrust into a tight pink sequined jumpsuit, clearly unhappy. She is even less happy when Alan (Channing Tatum) is added to her panel. (Alan is her cover model for Dash). In the panel, the fans aren’t much interested in her thoughts. They mostly want to see “Dash” shirtless.

Loretta is taken to meet Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), the black sheep of a media mogul family. He knows about Loretta’s studies in college, and kidnaps her to take her to a dig site. Her book contained too many similarities, written off what she and her husband had been studying. Based on that, he believes she would be able to find the Crown of Fire. Since it was the key artifact in her own book.

My thoughts

The Lost City combines all the fun of a romance novel and an action movie. It has a lot of respect for those who enjoy romance novels, and those who work around in that industry. It knows how to work with action and romance tropes, but build something that comes from a very honest place.

I don’t want to give away much of anything, but Loretta’s grief and depression after losing her husband is a big part of this story. Early on, she sort of gives away that she muddles the line between Dash and Alan in her mind, and it doesn’t feel rushed that she and Alan fall for each other.

Daniel Radcliffe is always a highlight. I enjoy that post-Potter, he is eager to do projects that are fun- and you can tell he’s enjoying every moment as the villain. Da’Vine Joy Randolph is also entertaining as Beth, Loretta’s book agent.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but there’s something poetic about it. It’s unexpected and sweet. My first reaction was “I wasn’t expecting that.” I expected humor, action and some romance. I didn’t expect the moments of vulnerability that came from a script that understood grief and living after losing a spouse.

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