Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LAND OF THE LOST: Thrill-less Ride

LAND OF THE LOST (sci-fi adventure)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Danny R. McBride, Anna Friel, Jorma Taccone, Raymond Ochoa, Pollyanna McIntosh, Logan Manus, Michael Papajohn and Shane Baumel
Director: Brad Silberling
Time: 93 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny R. McBride and Jorma Taccone in Land Of The Lost

PREAMBLE: When the distributors provide breakfast and an opening speech at media screenings, you can be sure it is either a big blockbuster or to ease reviewers into a turkey. Since Land Of The Lost is no summer biggie by any stretch of the imagination, we can only surmise that the breakfast was a PR job and true enough, in the speech by an official of UIP, we were told that this being a Will Ferrell movie, we shoud "leave our brains at the door" in order to enjoy the movie.

Yes, Land Of The Lost is that kind of movie! Keep your expectations low and you will be all right.

THE SKINNY: This film is adapted from a 1970s children’s TV series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. Its 'hero' is Dr Rick Marshall (Farrell), a 'quantum paleontologist' who has built a machine that will allow him to manipulate tachyons and travel through time and into alternate dimensions. Encouraged by his research assistant (Anna Friel as Holly) from Cambridge, England, he puts the finishing touches to the machine and they get sucked into an alternate dimension together with a park ride tour guide named Will Stanton (Danny McBride).

The rest of the show is about how the trio survive in the land of the lost where dinosaurs and idiotic alien creatures roam. And yes, they meet up with a half-human primate named Chaka (Jorma Taccone) who helps to provide some of the laughs.

HITS & MISSES: According to those in the know, the Seventies TV series was famous for its tacky special effects and childish aliens. This movie, directed by Brad Silberling, maintains its cheesy effects and childish creatures. Also, there is no attempt to hike the intellectual level up a few notches. It remains a low-brow remake and not even a spoof of the series. Why, there isn't even a real attempt at building up romantic overtures between Farrell and Friel.

Among the cast, Friel is the only one who generates some sense of awe in this 'Jurassic Park-ride' without the thrills. Ferrell just goes through the paces of his circus clown routine.

THE LOWDOWN: Dumb flicks now has a new name: Land Of The Lost!


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