Sunday, March 31, 2013

Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost; science-fiction adventure comedy, USA, 2009; D: Brad Silbering, S: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride

Paleontologist Dr. Rick Marshall embarrassed himself during a TV interview while presenting his theory about travelling to parallel universes with the help of tachyon energy. However, he found one loyal follower, Holly, and decided to check out his invention - soon, the two of them and a certain Will get transported to a prehistoric world with dinosaurs, lizard-men and ape-men. They get tricked by a lizard-man, Enik, to bring him the device so that he can rule the world, but correct that mistake. Rick and Holly return to modern Earth while Will decides to stay.

"Land of the Lost" is one of those darnedest movies - it is trashy and appeals to audience in the cheapest ways way too often, but somehow its whole nonsense is here presented with such a consistency and an eye for detail that one cannot help but to at least call it 'guilty pleasure'. In '74, the TV fantasy show "Land of the Lost" about a family stranded in a prehistoric world reached cult proportions, even though it was little more than a stiff piece of the bizarre, so Brad Silberling's movie adaptation, as insane as it is, at least managed to surpass it in the humourous category. In the opening scenes in a TV interview, where Rick Marshall reaches out to shake hands, but the host, Matt, just ignores the gesture and moves on posing questions without any contact, comedian Will Ferrell almost reaches Murray's level of comic charm, but, unfortunately, the rest of the movie lacks these kinds of sophisticated jokes and instead just reaches for the primitive ones, from the ape-man groping Holly up to Rick pouring himself with dinosaur urine. Numerous sequences and almost tasteless ideas make no sense whereas the whole movie seems like a parody of the original show at times. However, the movie surprised with being one of the first to use dinosaurs in a comic interaction, noticeable in the quietly hilarious 'rivalry' between Marshall and T. Rex (after referring to him as "having a brain the size of a walnut", Marshall wakes up one day to find a giant, 3 foot wide walnut in front of his cave, while the T. Rex is hiding in a nearby cave) whereas the visual effects were refreshingly unique and daring, noticeable in the fish eye lens and unusual camera movements while dinosaurs are on the screen. A strange kind of movie that is both dumb and then smart at the same time.


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