in Review

A Not So Routine Expedition

Land of the Lost

Hey a crappy TV show is now a not as crappy movie! As Will Ferrell leads this comic re-imagining of Sid and Marty Krofft’s awful 70s children’s show. Paying tribute to the camp and look of the original show just with a hint of Ferrell’s brand of humor and some stellar effects, Land of the Lost is hardly memorable or even well written but I won’t lie, I had fun and actually enjoyed it.

Where the original show was about the exploits of a father and his two kids trying to survive in the Land of the Lost, this remake takes a different approach. This time round Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is a former paleontologist, who after being humiliated in an interview with Matt Lauer gives up his research on “Time Warps” to settle into a middle school teaching job. Holly (Anna Friel), who is a bright British admirer of Marshall’s work, comes to try and convince Rick to finish his “Tachyon Amplifier” to see if traveling through time and space would actually work. Some quick convincing leads to Rick finishing the device and soon they head to Devil’s Cave (Where an important fossil was originally found) to give it a whirl. Meeting up with Will (Danny McBride) who operates the cave as a two-bit theme ride, the three set out inside… Only to end up in the Land of the Lost.

Initial reviews of Land of the Lost have been mediocre to terrible thus far, which I understand. There really is a lot of spots where they just don’t deliver on the humor and there isn’t much room for character development. If the second half of the film was as dry as the first, I would agree with the majority but I feel it picks up around the mid point. Ferrell as usual gives 110% and Danny McBride is a suitable comedic sidekick. The story isn’t much more than a vehicle for silly jokes but for the most part it works and there’s definitely some memorable sequences. For instance, there’s a great scene where Rick finds a banjo and begins to play a song about the group’s exploits and who would of guessed that it turns out to be the Land of the Lost theme song? I like that, clever and quite amusing.

I think what gives Land of the Lost my approval for the most part is the effects and the look of the film. The CGI dinosaurs and crabs leave for some exciting scenes and the sets are wonderfully detailed. The Sleestak (The lizard people) look better than ever and everything has a slight 70s retro charm. Michael Giacchino’s banjo infused score sets the mood and it all evens out to be a fun little film going experience.

If you’ve ever seen the show, I think you’d see it’s funny for all the wrong reasons. This remake on the other hand takes on the same concept but in a far less serious approach, resulting in a product that’s probably way better than the original ever was. So that’s got to stand for something, I mean remakes aren’t usually better so I’d definitely consider this a win situation. Most importantly I walked out satisfied and that’s more than I can say for handful of other summer blockbusters I’ve seen thus far.