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Movie Review: Land Of The Lost

 
Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 2 months ago

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Written June 7, 09

Will Ferrell is an actor that I've had a love/hate relationship with. He's like Ben Stiller in a way. If he does a movie acting like Will Ferrell, he's just not funny. If he pretends to be another character, then his comedy works. Thankfully he doesn't dive too deep in the Will well in Universal's Land of the Lost, a completely fucking retarded but entertaining as hell picture to sit through.

However, I often wonder about the list of remakes being released or in development by the originality-deprived Hollywood studio system is why remake a property when the demographic you’re aiming at would have almost no familiarity with the original? Honeymooners is the ultimate example, as if any member of fans of Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer fan base gave a damn about Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Land of the Lost, based on the cult Sid and Marty Krofft series from the ‘70s, is similarly perplexing. I know boomers and stoners might remember this show, but how much will there interest translate to ticket sales? Wouldn’t it be enough to just hire someone to write a movie with Will Ferrell and dinosaurs and be done with it? But wait, that might require an original thought or two and we certainly can’t have that.

Fans of the original series probably remember Land of the Lost best for its kitsch-factor, with cheesy effects including plastic toy dinosaurs, scores of suited-man monsters and Cha-Ka’s disturbingly prevalent brow. The series was before my time, so I don’t know a lot about it besides a few clips on YouTube, but the look of Lost in the new movie is probably a far cry from the world fans might remember. Instead, LOTL is littered with what studios seem to think qualify as top-notch CG effects in line with such shameful examples as The Mummy, Van Helsing and, more recently, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In translation, these effects are low-level at best, almost instantly distracting and really, really phony looking. While they may look better than the plastic toys of the original (depending on your perspective), at least a nod to those effects would have been funny, where as this work just is just kind of sad.  

There are plenty of problems with LOTL, but for the most part Ferrell and McBride deliver enough entertaining comedy and Friel passes the eye candy test. Even Taccone, who replaces the boyhood innocence of the Cha-Ka from the series with tendencies of perversion, scores a few laughs, mostly when he’s grabbing Friel’s breasts or Ferrell’s crotch. On the same note, the humor of LOTL is shockingly lewd and adult, testing the absolute bounds of the PG-13 limit. If lewd humor offends you or you think it might be too much to bring your kids to, you might want to skip this one altogether because it’s about the best thing it has going for it.

I’m not sure what they paid Will Ferrell for this one, but if it does well at the box office they should give him a good 75 percent of the cut. Without his lovable oafishness and willingness to take the physical comedy to extremes (yes, he goes shirtless once again and it ain’t pretty), LOTL would be intolerable. McBride plays off Ferrell well and is a suitable sidekick, but Ferrell is the key. He takes the movie from unwatchable all the way up to moderately entertaining. It’s still completely forgettable junk food entertainment, but you could do worse

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