Land Of The Lost (2009)

[Rating:1.5/5]                    land_of_the_lost_movie_poster_

Starring:  Will Ferrell, Anna Friel,
Danny McBride, Jorma Taccone,
John Boylan, Matt Lauer.
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Director:  Brad Silberling
Rating:  PG-13
Running Time:  102 Mins.
Release Date:  June 5, 2009
DVD Release Date:  October 13, 2009
Box Office: $49,438,370
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Universal Pictures and Relativity Media

Written By:  Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas

“Matt Lauer can suck it!” — Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell)

I have laughed so often at and with Will Ferrell through the years, that I can forgive him the occasional bomb and misfire.  All things acknowledged though, “Land of the Lost” is pushing that unconditional boundary a little far.

A misfire of epic proportions, “Land of the Lost” is a reinvention of the classic 1970s children’s adventure series.  The original tale of the Marshall family and their adventures in a primitive land, after falling through a time vortex, is low-budget, campy, wonderful television which gets seemingly better the more that time ages it.  Under the creative control of Will Ferrell and director, Brad Silberling, everything enjoyable about the series is forgotten and discarded, and what’s remains is a remake in name only.

Ferrell is hopelessly miscast as Dr. Rick Marshall, a disgraced scientist whose theories on time warp travel have rendered him a joke amongst his community.  When Holly Cantrell, a researcher and fan of Marshall’s work (Anna Friel) convinces him that his research is true and she can prove it, Marshall and Holly travel to an amusement park, partner with a tour guide (Danny McBride) and accidentally travel into a parallel universe of dinosaurs, oversized mosquitos, giant crabs, and all sorts of other creatures.

Marketed for children and families, the most striking thing that soon emerges with “Land of the Lost” is that this movie is not at all made for kids.  Parents should prepare themselves for this fact, as even with the PG-13 rating, it is a bit surprising that this doesn’t straddle closer to a PG line.  The movie packs a healthy dose of risque humor and sight gags that most parents I know would be far from thrilled in letting their single-digit aged child experience.  Danny McBride’s character is a “say anything, do anything” type of personality for example and Holly gets continually groped by an ape-like being in a tiresome and constant gag.  Rather than flesh out any character development or tell a story of any interest, the film recycles retread moments of kids cursing, Ferrell’s over-the-top knee jerk reactions to things, and double entendres throughout.  Not only does the film alienate its targeted crowd, but its so poorly conceived and presented that any potential fan of the talent on display are bored into submission.

Simply put, “Land of the Lost” has no real script to speak of and half the time Ferrell looks to be more than content to let Danny McBride have the laughs while he takes a paycheck; reminiscent of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones sleepwalking through “Men In Black 2″, but I digress.  Although, if Ferrell doesn’t seem to care, why should we?

“Land of the Lost” is a flat, bloated, uninspired mess that utilized its reported $100 million budget on visual effects and apparently nothing else.  I can recall laughing out loud on 3 or 4 occasions…in 102 minutes.  Perhaps, [Rating:1.5/5] is generous in hindsight.

Should I See It?

YES

Will Ferrell fans will be interested and although I didn’t find him funny, I imagine many of his fans will probably be entertained.

If you are someone who cares less about what critics think of a film and more about your instincts in picking a movie.  Who knows, you might like it?!?!

You were a fan or have affinity for the original “Land of the Lost” TV series.

NO

If you limit yourself to only seeing a few of  the high profile big-budget Hollywood Summer blockbusters, this is not worthy of that list.

Your intention is to find a family adventure suitable for the whole family.  Your kids will perhaps ask, or be exposed to, lots of new and uncomfortable situations.  Beware!

You were a fan or have affinity for the original “Land of the Lost” TV series.

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