The Secret of the Lost City: Without Leaving an Address [critique]

Mismatched and ill-served by gags that fall flat, the Tatum/Bullock duo get lost in the jungle (and us with it).

It was promising: associating the indestructible Sandra Bullock (whose lesser drama is a hit on Netflix) and the ghost Channing Tatum (back in the foreground, five years after Kingsman: The Golden Circle) in a buddy movie. She is Loretta Sage, writer of romantico-erotic adventure novels, who has not recovered from the death of her archaeologist husband, and he is Alan, the handsome model of her book covers. and which greatly contributes to its success. While Loretta is busy promoting her new book, she gets kidnapped by Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe), a frustrated young millionaire. The reason: he wants to find the Crown of Fire, a mythical artifact that the writer mentions in her latest book. He takes her by force to the other side of the globe, in the heart of the wild jungle on an island lost in the middle of the ocean with a volcano ready to explode at any moment… And there, it is the drama (and minor spoiler warning).

To save her, her agent Beth (Da’vine Joy Randolph) and Alan decide to go to her rescue with the help of Jack Trainer (Brad Pitt), the model’s former coach. His few minutes of appearance make you smile: a former soldier (who is called Jack L coach in VF), he manages without worries to free the prisoner by beating alone a whole camp of overtrained mercenaries. A somewhat funny cameo (Pitt, completely in Cliff Booth mode, hides to death and it shows), but which ends very abruptly – and we understand when the time will be long… There follows a chase in the rainforest between the evil kidnappers and the Loretta – Alan team, which is hard to believe. That’s the bug. No chemistry between the two characters, whereas the film rests essentially, absolutely and totally on this presupposition, moreover largely borrowed (as Jungle Cruise with The Rock and Emily Blunt, by the way) to the romantic comedy of adventures In pursuit of the green diamond (1984) with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas: the writer and the adventurer fake drawn into an Indiana Jones-esque fiction that comes to life. Here, the fiction takes too long (almost two hours), and the rhythm is not there.

We thank the abundant jungle decorations for this beautiful green, a little less the false ruins and the false hieroglyphs, there only to flesh out the knowledge and the intelligence of the heroine – it might have been necessary to focus the scenario a little better in this direction… Because the film ends with an ode to love, stronger than death and than all the wealth in the world, which could almost become moving -but The Secret of the Lost City does not manage to find this right balance, this moment when the trashy and schoolboy humor (potrash?) changes into sincere emotion. Which is not at all impossible to do, but it won’t be for this time.

By Aaron and Adam Nee. With Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe… Duration: 1h52. Released April 20, 2022

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