Written by Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas
Directed by Brad Silberling
Running Time: 1:40
for crude and sexual content,
and for language including a drug reference.
Land of the Lost was a rather dumb, albeit it at times funny, film that was essentially Will Ferrell doing Will Ferrell.
Dr. Rick Marshall has a theory that there are different dimensions you can travel to where the past, present and future all collide. Naturally, everyone thinks he's out of his mind. One woman, Holly, believes in Rick and takes him to a place where she believes they can enter these other dimensions. They unwittingly bring along Will and suddenly, they enter the Land of the Lost. Now, they need to find their time machine and get back to their dimension. But a group of creatures called Sleestaks are in their way, as well as a number of other strange and bizarre monsters. Along with their new primate friend Chaka, can the motley crew find their way home?
Have you seen a Will Ferrell movie before? OK, then you've pretty much seen Land of the Lost, only without the cheesy special effects. Now, let me start off by saying that unlike a lot of people from my generation, I've never seen the original Land of the Lost TV series. I've seen clips and know that the show was extremely corny in its production values and is popular mainly because of how ridiculous it looked. And apparently it may have even been decently acted even with the poor effects. So that being said, I can't tell you if the movie is like/unlike the show, I can only tell you what I thought of the current film. And it's definitely a Will Ferrell film. If you don't like his kind of humor, you will not like this movie because there's really nothing else to it. The plot of the movie is simple enough - a group of travelers enters another dimension and needs to find a way home. There is a secondary story line where a creature from the new dimension is trying to take over the Universe, but that starts late and never gets fully formed. It was as if they needed something to extend the movie by a few minutes.
The actors, Anna Friel as Holly, Danny McBride as Will and Jorma Taccone as Chaka were decent enough, but all had to play second (and third, and fourth) fiddle to Ferrell. Friel was cute enough as the 'girl' in the film, although it was kind of funny how she out of nowhere took off half her clothes. McBride, an up and coming actor/comedian who is almost like Ferrell's protégé, has the same kind of humor as Ferrell, so you can see why they get along so well. I think the writers/director felt they couldn't give all the jokes to Ferrell, so they had McBride along so that someone else could say the 'Ferrell' jokes. And Jorma was fun as Chaka, even though he didn't speak a word of English (but he did sing some). None of them were spectacular and none of them did/said anything really memorable, but when you're in a Will Ferrell movie, you're gonna get lost in the wake.
The special effects in the movie were better than the TV series, although you could see that the filmmakers were sort of trying to keep the feel of the old show. They couldn't go all-out cheesy but between the Sleestaks and the backgrounds, it wasn't a superb use of special effects. The large T-Rex grew on me as the movie went on at least. So cheese aside, there were certainly some funny moments in the film. I do like Will Ferrell and his kind of humor so I will admit to laughing a few times. Anytime Ferrell gets to do something truly absurd, it gets funny, whether its covering himself in animal urine or having a bug suck nearly all the blood out of his system. He's got a way about him that's just slightly on the other side of really weird. His moments with Matt Lauer are probably the best parts of the film because Lauer is about as straight-laced as it comes. Unfortunately, the original, funny moments were few and far between while most of the movie is the usual Ferrell humor which was good, but ultimately the same business as usual.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I was mixed over Land of the Lost. If you like Will Ferrell, you'll probably enjoy the movie. If you don't like him, then don't bother. It's dumb humor at best, and just dumb at worst.
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