Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum team up for The Lost City, a romantic-comedy adventure that’s essentially a reimagining of the Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas 1984 classic, Romancing the Stone.

Bullock plays Loretta Sage, a reclusive romance novelist who’s grown tired of her own work (and the crazy fandom that comes with it), while Tatum is Alan, the handsome cover model who has made a career from being every female reader’s fantasy.

When an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) discovers that her latest novel holds a real clue to the location of a fabled ancient treasure, he kidnaps her, heads to a remote volcanic island, and instigates a situational farce that blends high adventure with pratfall comedy when Alan tries to live up to the fantasy of being her hero.

A movie from the minds behind Horrible Bosses and Identity Theft shouldn’t be taken seriously, and The Lost City is unapologetically absurd. Like the ridiculous melodramas depicted in Loretta’s stories, the situations and adventures demand tempered expectations for optimal impact.

Shot predominantly in the Dominican Republic, the film does look spectacular. The jungle setting and other tropical locations invest it with immediate appeal, and when these injudicious characters come tromping through ancient ruins like a rush of clueless city slickers, hilarity ensues with varying degrees of effect.

The rapport between Bullock and Tatum is good and their chemistry elevates the movie beyond its kitschy vibe. Those who could be dragged to the cinema by their respective ‘other half’ will be thankful for the dynamic between the two leads.

Radcliffe is also fun as the crazy villain and is an unexpected name amongst the cast, given his penchant for smaller, independent films these days. There’s also a decent supporting roster including Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patty Harrison and a very funny Oscar Nunez (The Office), not to mention a riotous extended cameo from Brad Pitt as a larger than life survivalist and mercenary.

Amusingly, the movie’s original title was The Lost City of D, which services several in-jokes (it’s the name of Loretta’s novel, a riff on James Grey’s The Lost City of Z, and an all too obvious allusion to something a bit rude). Directors Aaron and Adam Nee (The Nee Brothers) embrace that cheekiness, however, and slather the 110-minute running time with likeminded gags and the occasional surprise attack of violence.

The Lost City is not going to be winning any awards but it has all the hallmarks of being a crowd pleaser. It’s ludicrous and adventurous, and informed by similar movies that came before it, like Jungle Cruise and the aforementioned Romancing the Stone. If you suspend your disbelief, a fun, star-powered romp awaits.

In cinemas: April 14, 2022
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe
Directed by: Aaron and Adam Nee

Pre-order The Lost City now at JB Hi-Fi.