Sunday, June 14, 2009

Land of the Lost

Nice Dino!

This is one of those movies marketed with the children market firmly set in its sights, and my money is that parents will be appalled to have given their little ones a family outing to the cinemas only to realize it's a nightmare the first few minutes into the movie. It's a one of a kind slap to any film ratings board (here included) given the number of innuendos, f-bombs and hallucinogen use in the film, that parents would likely be flabbergasted by a PG-rating. The two kids sitting in front of me were laughing for a while, before being awfully quiet, disoriented by some really adult moments.

While I have not seen the original 70s television series of the same name, I guess it's supposedly very much tamer than its big screen interpretation, though of course having Will Ferrell in a starring role would mean that one might be expecting a riotous time. Unfortunately not, and it's a film without a plot, throwing about random scenes now and then either just for laughs, or to display some digital effects for the sake of. While there be some attempts of dreaming up a plot with aliens in distress, saving the universe, the repair of one's reputation and the likes, the randomness of events more than destroys any semblance of a logical plot.

Not that science fiction needs to anyway, but like an early remark in the film goes, it's very much non-science (read: nonsense), with Ferrell's Dr Rick Marshall designing a time-warp device for lateral time travel, meaning not forward or backwards, but laterally through parallel universes. You see, it saves meticulous design and planning, since it provides a lot of leeway to throw everything including the kitchen sink together sans realism or logic, just to provide some messy platform for Rick Marshall to either exhibit his intellect, but more so to showcase his buffoony.

Aiding him in his trip willingly is a graduate student from Cambridge who studied his work, Holly (Anna Friel), and an unwitting extra in kooky theme park ride administrator Will, played by Danny McBride who's in it just to become the punching bag of laughs, physical comedy and sparring partner of vulgarity with Ferrell. Expect plenty of the usual toilet humour too, complete with piss (seriously, an extended scene here) and dung that brought on more dread than mirth. And you know there's a new low when one actor (Jorma Taccone) has to be dressed up and act the horny monkey throughout the film, speaking an indecipherable tongue that only Holly can understand. And isn't it too cliché and passe already to be using yet another T-Rex as a villain?

Will Farrell has been unimpressive of late, with a string of dubious, unfunny films such as Step-Brothers, Semi-Pro and Blades of Glory. OK so the last two still managed to get by with a handful of hilarious scenes, but the last funny film for me starring Ferrell would be Talladega Nights. I suppose he's doing himself no favours if his films continue to rake in poor box office and reviews, and perhaps a blast from the past in Anchorman 2 just might be his saving grace. We shall see.

One wonders how the filmmakers managed to get away with a film like this one, since it's all over the place, and definitely as lost as its title already prophesied. It may look like Planet of the Apes meet Stargate, but the result is neither funny, nor did it bother with crafting exciting set action pieces, and definitely a misadventure. You have been warned, and to make your money's worth when you managed to sit through this, sit through the end credits for a stinger mid way of the roll.

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