The animation is hokey, the storyline is outrageous and the creatures are as bizarre and corny as they come, but the reason “Land of the Lost” was so damn great can be summed up in five words: Will Ferrell and Danny McBride.
Without the charisma and chemistry that both actors have together, Universal’s “Land of the Lost” remake would have remained flat and stupid and definitely a kid’s movie. Whether it’s remnants of their work together on HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” or the fact that Danny McBride can’t open his mouth without cursing, the twosome brought an edge to a film that otherwise could have easily passed under the box office radar.
Though the 1974 TV show and its 1991 remake are both marketed as children’s shows, this remake is marketed more as a parody than an adaptation. The bottom line: Don’t bring your kids to this film unless you want them to walk our grabbing each other’s breasts to say hello, dropping the F-bomb and wanting to get intoxicated off alcoholic fruit. “Land of the Lost” more than anything else, is a kid’s movie made for adults.
Written by: Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas
Starring: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel
Running time: 93 minutes
Seen at: Boston Common Loews
Creators of both the original series and its remake, Sid and Marty Kroft, were involved in the story’s big screen adaptation, and it can be seen through the story’s slightly distorted similarities. The original series followed the adventures of Rick Marshall and his kids Will and Holly. Here, the film follows the adventures of Dr. Rick Marshall (Ferrell), but with the help of his lovely British assistant and fan Holly (Anna Friel) and their unexpected companion, Will (McBride). Cha-Ka, a T-Rex named Grumpy and Enik all are involved again in the story in slightly altered, comedic forms.
What’s best about “Land of the Lost” is that it doesn’t shy away from its corniness; it embraces it. The acting feels cartoonish “" something Ferrell exhibited in his films like “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights” and Friel mastered in the unfortunately deceased “Pushing Daisies” “" and it fits the film perfectly. Both portray their characters as completely involved in the theory of alternate universes and the lost land they discover, but to such a point that it’s funny for the audience to watch.
McBride’s wry cynicism “" which he has perfected in just about every role he’s ever been in “" is the perfect counterpoint for Ferrell’s and Friel’s dedication to their cause. Every scene that has Ferrell and McBride interact in any way is better than it would have been with a different actor in their place. Ferrell and McBride alone make “Land of the Lost” worth seeing.
“Land of the Lost” isn’t the best comedy film out this summer by a long shot. If you’re looking for a movie that will have you howling with laughter from the absurdity of it, you should have gone to see “The Hangover” instead. But “Land of the Lost” was a surprising addition to the summer comedy line-up and will definitely surpass whatever expectations you had for it.
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