Critic's Pick

Critic's Pick Land of the Lost
Director: Brad Silberling
Screenwriter: Brad Silberling
Cast: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, and Jorma Taccone
Release Date: 2009-06-10
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Film

Dir. Brad Silberling; writ. Chris Henchy, Dennis McNicholas; feat. Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride, and Jorma Taccone

G-dog, if you’re there, it’s me, Chrissie. I know I probably used up all my wishes on those Steve Winwood tickets, and I know you said I should watch The Wrestler because I would like it, but I didn’t believe you, but then I watched it anyway, and you ended up being right, like you always are. Well, I have one more favor to ask, and I promise, this time I will listen.

I am requesting your intervention in Will Ferrell’s movie career. There must come a time when even frat guys and cheerleaders won’t be buying his movies anymore, and that is the day for which I yearn. He is basically a live-action Barbie, taking on job-centered dress-up roles — alcoholic anchorman, Nascar driver, ice skater, basketball player, and now a quantum paleontologist.

In Land of the Lost, Ferrell plays self-proclaimed quantum paleontologist Dr. Rick Marshall, whose number-one follower, Holly Cantrell (Friel), convinces him to dig up his research on space-time vortexes. With the help of the odd redneck Will Stanton (McBride), they end up sucked into a place where space and time collide and familiar creatures from the ‘70s television series — Sleestak and Pakuni — run wild through a wasteland of iconic American kitsch: Big Boy Burgers, roadside motels, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Dr. Marshall, Holly, and Will venture through the strange world looking find their way back home while trying not to disturb the dinosaurs or the Sleestak.

It’s not that Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost is bad, it’s just that Will Ferrell is the most uninteresting part of the film. Playing a straight-man part, he takes a back seat to that guy with the mullet.

Stylistically, I have to admit, the film is pleasingly close to the TV show. Cha-Ka is still creepy, but less because of his makeup and more because of his body language. Grumpy, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, is the stereotypical antagonistic dinosaur. Even the Sleestak are happily still moving at their slow zombie pace. The film’s entire aesthetic is actually pretty yummy too, full of bright orange and blues. I didn’t run to the exit when it was over, and the film’s humor is funny in its randomness.

On second thought, I just want a She-Ra movie.

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