Land Of The Lost sees Hollywood’s most overpaid film star, Will Ferrell, playing Dr Rick Marshall, a scientist sucked into a parallel universe where dinosaurs roam the planet, as well as ape men and lizard people. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen the original 1970s TV series that this movie is based on. Of course, it’s pretty much obligatory that modern remakes have to be spoofs, regardless of whether this makes for a better film or not, and Land Of The Lost is no different in this respect.
As it happens, I’ve never seen the original series, so there were probably a few jokes I didn’t get, but it also means I’m able to judge the film without prior expectations. As a neutral observer, what I found was a slightly confused, but entertaining comedy, which you’ll probably have forgotten in a week’s time.
Ferrell, as usual, plays the fool, and if you’re a fan, you shouldn’t be disappointed. If, however, his brand of comedy doesn’t appeal to you, then you’re unlikely to find anything here to change that, as this is classic Ferrell. He shouts, he runs around a lot, and there’s even a bit of singing thrown in.
Anna Friel provides support as Holly Cantrell, and while it’s refreshing to hear her natural accent, she seems slightly miscast as the Oxford-educated scientist and love interest. Something about her performance doesn’t ring true, although I’ve never been a fan of hers anyway, so it’s not all that surprising that her acting seemed a bit wooden to me.
Probably the best performance in Land Of The Lost is from Danny McBride as Will Stanton, a laid-back tour guide who’s accidentally pulled into this adventure with the scientists. Fast-becoming one of my favourite comedy actors, he first came to my attention in Pineapple Express as the delusional drug dealer Red. As with that film, in Land Of The Lost, he seems to be effortlessly watchable and steals pretty much every scene he’s in.
If you’re expecting a kiddie-friendly movie, then look elsewhere, because there’s a good deal of crude humour and sexual innuendo here. While I enjoy such things, I wasn’t really expecting them from a film about dinosaurs and monkey people, and it seems likely that more sensitive souls will also make this mistake and get offended. If you’ve got this movie on your iPod, then, it’s best to make sure you don’t leave it the hands of young ones.
There’s no doubting that Land Of The Lost has its moments, and some of the set pieces, such as the overly hungry mosquito, are hilarious. However, it’s no classic, and you can’t help but feel that it might just be funnier to watch the original TV series.
Unfortunately, it’s not available as a rental download, because it’s a pretty good way to pass the time over a long journey, but really has no repeat viewing value. At £10.99, it’s just not worth it, and I’d suggest it would be better to rent it on DVD, or if you’re going to buy it, wait for the disc to come down in price.
Land Of The Lost is available from the iTunes store.