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Land of the Lost Actually Funny

Published June 4, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
Land of the Lost Poster Land of the Lost
Land of the Lost is right up my alley. It’s totally inappropriate for kids, yet totally geared towards their sensibilities. Right on, force parents to have to explain what “tapping that ass” means while they laugh at the silly monkey man.

Review Land of the Lost

You get a little more humanity in Marshall than the typical Will Ferrell character. He has a sense of failure that’s real, someone who believed in something but couldn’t achieve it. Then there’s still the funny nonsense bravado.

It’s actually funny. It’s not forcing comedy. They actually find jokes to make about it, and it gets to the Land of the Lost fast. It is really sexual with groping and masturbation references. I know PG-13 is supposed to indicate the film is geared at older kids, the whole Temple of Doom thing, but come on. If it’s not R, kids can get a ticket and they damn well should. As if they don’t already overhear cuss words from their friends and parents.

The action is no Jurassic Park or King Kong so the film really rides on the comedy. They run from a dinosaur, jump over stuff, swing on vines. That’s really pedestrian for a big summer movie, so it totally shifts the focus to the jokes, which more than pick up the slack. There’s a chase through modern and historical obstacles but no nuanced action twist like the T-rex fight or bronto stampede in Kong.

They do point out the action clichés Ferrell style. It’s not satire, just exasperated bravado at the stuff that happens in every action movie, but really makes things hard for the heroes, who in this case aren’t even supposed to be tough guys.

The old fashioned soundstage sets let you see the artistry that goes into old school filmmaking. The CGI sucks as much as 90% of all CGI. The inner mouths of the Sleestaks look ridiculous. They’re better off with just the costume suits.

As Will Ferrell comedies go, it’s not Elf, Anchorman or Blades of Glory but it’s Talladega Nights or Semi-Pro. It’s a little more than half and half, definitely fun to watch with some memorable parts. It’s way more solid than Kicking and Screaming or Bewitched.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Universal Pictures

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