Movie Review: Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost
2 Lloyds – Cautionary Family-Friendly
PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and for language
including a drug reference.
Running Time: 1 hour 33 minutes

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Will Ferrell stars as a has-been scientist named Dr. Rick Marshall, who suddenly finds himself sucked back through time. Well, kind of sucked back through time. He finds himself in a land with no concept of time where many worlds, and many time-lines, collide.

But, he’s not alone on his adventure and journey. Others sucked into the Land of the Lost include a smart research assistant named Holly and a redneck survivalist by the name of Will. Chased by T. Rex and stalked by the painfully slow reptiles known as the Sleestaks, Marshall, Will and Holly must rely on their only ally – a primate named Chaka – to navigate out of the hybrid dimension.

Will the trio escape?

Or will they become permanent refugees in the “Land of the Lost”?

Pleasantly Surprised…

I usually do not like Will Ferrell at all. As a matter of fact, there are only two movies I like of his. Elf and Curious George where he plays the animated Man in the Yellow Hat. Other than those two movies, I find Will Ferrell to be nothing more than a rude and crude comedian who’s still trying to live off the fame of his Saturday Night Live days. Seldom does he work for his humor. Instead he goes for the rude and crude quick laugh jokes.

It takes talent to come up with good and creative humor. In my opinion, Ferrell lacks such talent. He’s a one dimensional actor who’s relaxing on his name, instead of his talent. Of course the dismal debut weekend dollar results at the box office for Land of the Lost reveals Will Ferrell’s name draw, is starting to lose it’s shine.

With that in mind…
Why was I pleasantly surprised with
Land of the Lost?

It certainly is not a result of Ferrell’s performance. If anything, Ferrell is predictable in his role as Dr. Rick Marshall. He takes the campy, innocent father figure of Dr. Rick Marshall from the 1970’s children’s TV series Land of the Lost created by Sid & Marty Krofft, and turns him into an egotistical, gutter mouthed, sexual innuendo filled Dr. Rick Marshall. At times Ferrell plays the role of Dr. Marshall more like the Uncle Albert character from The Who’s Tommy movie.

The bright spot of the big flick adaptation of Land of the Lost comes from the two co-stars. While they have little to work with when it comes to script, storyline and talent from Ferrell, Anna Friel and Danny McBride add the much needed humor to this otherwise flat and predictable movie. There are some laugh-out-loud moments, and for me, those moments came from Friel and McBride. As for Ferrell, if you laughed at his character in the trailer, you will roll eyes in the movie as his laugh lines are familiar. The funny parts for Ferrell, are all contained in the trailer. In other words, if it weren’t for Friel and McBride, Land of the Lost would probably be a total loss, better left lost forever.

If you remember the 1970’s TV show, the movie does provide a nostalgic stroll through memory land. The familiar villain Sleestaks are the same. The travelers friend Chaka provides a wonderful Gilligan feel for our trio too. It’s all part of the experience of those lost in some kind of time and space continuum after a rafting experience goes bad. The two headed swamp dwelling dinosaur Lu-Lu is missing from the original TV show. But, a T. Rex named Grumpy gets a lot of screen time here showing his hate for Dr. Rick Marshall. Of course the special effects are better than the original TV show. However, from time to time, this somewhat big-budget-big-screen adaptation of the low-budget-small-screen show, appears to suffer from special effect creativity. At times, if you look real close, you may be able to make out the green screen shots with the CGI effects painted in later.

As for the family-friendly arena, Land of the Lost is tagged with a cautionary family-friendly warning.

Had it not been for Ferrell’s fascination with the f-bomb, which he feels the need to drop at least once in every movie, it might have made the family-friendly list. But then again, Ferrell also does his best to kick any of his movies out of the family-friendly arena due to the fact that he’s also fascinated with sexual innuendo and other rude and crude jokes which add no value to the movie at all. Keep in mind Land of the Lost carries a PG-13 rating. While it’s not over the top rude and crude, Ferrell’s presence moves it into the cautionary family-friendly arena.

Over all, I was pleasantly surprised with Land of the Lost. However, unless you’re a Will Ferrell fan, this is probably best left in the View on DVD list. Maybe under the heading When I Have Nothing Better To Do file.

Cautiously enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.