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LAND OF THE LOST, 2009
Movie Review

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LAND OF THE LOST MOVIE POSTER
LAND OF THE LOST
Movie Review

Directed by Brad Silberling
Starring: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride
Review by Jen Frankel




SYNOPSIS:

Three adults inadvertently stumble into a mysterious land populated by dinosaurs and other creatures, including the mysterious and dangerous race of Sleestak.

REVIEW:

I've said it before, and I wish I could say it to his face. Will Ferrell needs to be in a good movie, one worthy of his talents, and soon before I swear never to see another of his films again.

In an early scene, Ferrell's character Dr. Rick Marshall eats a donut stuffed with M&Ms. It's an apt metaphor for the whole film: empty calories, a great big hole in the middle, and it makes no real sense at all.

In fact, both Ferrell's Marshall and McBride's trailer trash tag-along Will are so dumb there's not much difference between them intellectually. You can only wonder how Marshall made it through school, much less managed to build an advanced scientific device that actually functions.

In contrast, the usual throwaway female character is actually pretty cool and smart, not to mention charming. Played by Pushing Daisies' Anna Friel, Holly is everything Marshall is not -- but the incredibly dumb and sexist script has her not only cutting off her pants to make them into short shorts for no discernible reason, but has her give Ferrell possibly the most unsubstantiated kiss and protestation of love in the history of cinema.

We like Holly, but with no real background on her or insight into her character, there's nothing to really get excited about. Same with Ferrell -- the only reason we like him at all is because he's Will Ferrell, and even that gets old fast.

What there is of a plot is contrived in a amateurish fashion. There's no development either there or with the characters, so any time there's nothing fun to watch, I was pretty bored.

Judging by the audience, only the under-13s seemed to be really enjoying themselves, which probably had something to do with the fact that most of the jokes were either scatological or sexist in the most obvious possible way. I don't giggle any more when someone grabs breasts or genitals. Haven't for years, actually.

The ape-man who becomes a follower of the adventurers was barely a step up from the stereotypical racist sidekicks that you can no longer put in films, and did nothing to improve the generally adolescent level of humor.

All the funniest bits in the movie were already blown in the trailer, and sadly, they played better there edited down from the longer version in the actual film.

The script is plagued by weak punchlines and few payoffs, which got me thinking that maybe comedy movies SHOULD be written by a writers' room where there are people hired just to provide good jokes. One way or another, it's hard to sit through a film that feels like it was written in a single (possible very drunken) session.

Land of the Lost also showed me enough unattractive, out-of-shape lumpy man-flesh to carry me for the rest of my life. It makes me shudder when I think about the ridiculously high standard for female perfection in film, when Ferrell and McBride parade their saggy bellies around.

Shallow emotions from shallow guys. Stoner humor. Homophobic jokes that I don't think would play well to actual homophobes.

The big plot twist feels kind of like the first time anyone even THOUGHT of including a plot.

The music's okay -- you might want to check the soundtrack if they release one.

It just seems like a big waste of money -- to make as well as watch -- no matter how much money it ends up making.

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