The Lost City review and interview with Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum

Sandra Bullock talks about Channing Tatum’s ‘incredible willpower’ to stay in shape

There should be more movies like The Lost City, even if it isn’t perfect

The action rom-com turns Channing Tatum into the damsel in distress.

Sandra Bullock praised her co-actor Channing Tatum’s incredible physique revealing the actor’s body felt like ‘a tree’ when she embraced him in The Lost City.

Bullock and Channing talked about the latter’s training for their upcoming movie.

The Dog actor revealed he was in ‘heavy rehearsals’ for his film Magic Mike 3, following a strict diet and workout routine. However, Bullock said that she saw the 41-year-old actor following the same discipline on the sets of their comedy action movie.

“He’s really disciplined,” The Unforgivable star stated. “He has incredible willpower.”

Tatum then explained that it was fear and ego because he had to shoot for a scene without his clothes on to which Bullock said that she never had to shot such a scene.

Tatum responded jokingly, “That’s because you produced it and wrote this thing.”

“That’s correct,” Bullock admitted after the duo shared a laugh. 

The Lost City, stars Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum — are two of the biggest names in Hollywood who haven’t been in a Marvel movie. I suppose that’s a testament to the superhero genre’s chokehold on the movie-making business. But it also says a lot about Bullock’s and Tatum’s star power (Tatum was involved with a movie about the X-Man known as Gambit, but that ultimately fizzled out) and, reflexively, how rare it is that a movie like The Lost City exists.

Directed by Aaron and Adam Nee, who both co-wrote the movie with Oren Uziel and Dana Fox, based on a story by Seth Gordon, The Lost City is an action-adventure rom-com that isn’t based on already existing IP (unless you count the concept of the model Fabio). The effects and action sequences of said adventure aren’t really the draw here, though — the stars are. The Nees and their movie are more concerned with showcasing Bullock and Tatum’s chemistry, and inverting at least one of the genre’s tropes.

Despite his intimidating physique, Tatum spends a lot of the movie writhing around in a wet t-shirt and inflicting low-damage slaps to henchmen. Bullock is stern and extraordinarily intelligent, playing an academic-cum-romance novelist who manages to summon Indiana Jones energy in a purple sequined jumpsuit.

Bullock is his hero, Tatum is the damsel in distress.

That inversion isn’t particularly clever (the movie’s stars blurt out the phrase “damsel in distress” at one point), and doesn’t feel like a breakthrough, as we’ve seen Bullock and Tatum play versions of their characters before — Bullock has already played a hero in waiting in Miss Congeniality and Tatum a sensitive galoot in the 21 Jump Street franchise. There’s an obviousness to their dynamic. Yet, thanks to its stars, there are still moments of genuine laughter and buoyancy in The Lost City that made me glad it exists — enough to convince me that Bullock and Tatum should be in more mid-budget rom-coms, and that there need to be more, not fewer, movies like it.

The Lost City is, at its heart, a warning to think twice before romantically pursuing a writer. Loretta Sage (Bullock) is a successful romance novelist who has grown to resent everything around her. She hates her devout fans that buy her books and allow her to live a plush life of white wine on ice and bathtub soaking. She hates doing publicity for her new book, The Lost City of D, even though said publicity gets said fans to buy said book. She hates her devoted publisher and friend Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) because she is making her do a promotional tour, and she hates her cover model and promo tour co-headliner, Alan (Tatum), for not understanding his role in the writing process (nonexistent).

The two lead roles have also been deftly customized, both to reflect a more 21st-century gender dynamic and to accommodate the yin-yang mix of Bullock’s smarts and Tatum’s sensitivity. Loretta may be a popular writer, but she also despises her work and most of her readers; she’s a serious-minded archaeologist by trade (so, sniff, was her late husband) with a specialty in dead languages. This (sort of) explains why she’s suddenly kidnapped, mid-book tour, by Alistair Fairfax (a very good Daniel Radcliffe), a wealthy media baron with a Murdoch-scion complex who flies her to his heavily guarded compound on a distant island, where she and she alone can locate the whereabouts of some storied El Dorado.

And so even as she has to traipse through the jungle in an impractical sequined jumpsuit as purple as her prose, Loretta is hardly a damsel in distress. And Bullock, having already bested an exploding bus in “Speed,” a failing spacecraft in “Gravity” and a suicidal epidemic in “Bird Box,” regards this out-of-nowhere abduction as if it were merely an ill-timed holiday. Loretta is better prepared to survive a deadly tropical adventure than, say, Alan, who nonetheless touchingly chases after her, determined to live up to the chivalry and heroism of his fictional alter ego.

They make an effortlessly watchable duo, whether they’re squeezing into a hammock or negotiating the gently bickersome neo-screwball rhythms of the dialogue. The other actors pick up nicely on their vibes, including Oscar Nuñez as a friendly guy with a goat and a terrific Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Loretta’s tirelessly loyal book agent, who knows all too well the value of romantic fantasies as shrewdly calculated as this one.

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Credited also in Daily Mail and The Mirror.


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