Land of the Lost (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/07/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Land of the Lost has decent special effects but ultimately fails thanks to a poorly written script, a general lack of imagination, a series of painfully unfunny gags and an unforgivably lazy central performance from Will Ferrell.

What's it all about?
Based on a 1970s TV series by Sid and Marty Krofft (which thankfully never seems to have made it to the UK), Land of the Lost stars Will Ferrell as Dr Rick Marshall, who invents a time machine that transports him, his sexy, super-smart assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and dim-witted souvenir salesman Will (Danny McBride) into a parallel universe where the past, present and future all mix together. Falling foul of a very angry T-Rex, our heroes team up with (overly) friendly monkey-boy Chaka (Jorma Taccone) and attempt to defeat an army of lizard men known as Sleestak.

The Good
To be fair, Land of the Lost has two decent gags, one involving a giant crab and the other involving a blood-sucking insect. Similarly, the effects are pretty decent throughout, particularly the T-Rex and the creepy-looking Sleestak costumes.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the rest of the film is painfully unfunny, with a series of badly thought-out, poorly written and frequently puerile jokes that don't sit well with the kiddie-friendly fantasy setting. There should be a rule for films like this and the rule should be that if you can't make it at least as funny and as entertaining as Galaxy Quest, then don't bother.

Ferrell delivers an unforgivably lazy performance, with the result that the film is saddled with two obnoxious and unlikable lead characters (Ferrell and McBride), which doesn't really work. Caught in the middle, Anna Friel gives a performance that is much, much better than the film really deserves, but you just end up feeling sorry for her as a character gropes her breasts for the umpteenth time.

Worth seeing?
If the filmmakers had put just one tenth of the effort they put into the effects into the script and direction, The Land of the Lost might have been good fun. Instead, it's tedious, unimaginative and desperately unfunny. One to avoid.

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Content updated: 19/07/2018 14:38

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