Review: Land of the Lost
Plot: A disgraced Paleontologist (Will Ferrell), and his beautiful assistant (Anna Friel), stumble, along with a wacky tour guide (Danny McBride), upon an alternate world inhabited by dinosaurs, monkey men, and reptilian humanoids called Sleestaks.
Review: Ladies and gentlemen- this is it. This is the moment where Will Ferrell's shtick (already wearing thin after his last couple of films) officially got old. LAND OF THE LOST is an absolutely atrocious excuse for a film, and easily one of the worst films I've seen this year.
I think the big problem is that Ferrell simply IS NOT cut out to headline this type of big budget/ event film. Someone like Ben Stiller is able to make NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM work due to the fact that he's able to occasionally bring real emotion to this characters, and can play it straight if he has to. Ferrell on the other hand is impossible to take seriously. He's just too damn silly, and his constant mugging for the camera makes it impossible to accept him in an action/adventure setting (not to mention accept him as a love interest for the ravishing Friel).
To be fair, LAND OF THE LOST obviously aspires to be less of an action/adventure, and more of a comedy than NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM- but the biggest problem in that regard is that the film simply is not very funny. Usually, I'd consider myself a fairly big Will Ferrell fan. When he's at his best (on SNL, or in ANCHORMAN & OLD SCHOOL), he's pretty tough to beat. Even his worst films (SEMI-PRO, BLADES OF GLORY), are usually good for a laugh or two- but I honestly cannot remember laughing once during this film (although I chuckled during the Cher/ "Believe" tribute scene). Even the usually reliable Danny McBride is unable to generate any laughs. Probably the closest the film comes to being funny is during Ferrell's book-ending scenes with Matt Lauer, which inexplicably had certain audience members in stitches, but only provoked me to look at my watch and wonder how much of this ordeal was left.
Probably the only praise-worthy things about this film, is the above average musical score by Michael Giacchino (which nicely evokes the old Saturday morning Sid & Marty Kroft show this is based on), and the solid production design work by Bo Welch, which is appropriately campy, and gives the film a unique look.
All and all though- I really, truly loathed this film. I'm sure the filmmakers were hoping this would be Ferrell's BRUCE ALMIGHTY, but instead, it's going to turn out to be his EVAN ALMIGHTY. Hopefully he'll bounce back as well as Steve Carell did after that disaster- but only time will tell. Until then, avoid this at all costs, unless you're an incredibly non-demanding twelve year old, or have the movie tastes of one.
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