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Australia 2009
Directed by
Brad Silberling
101 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
3.5 stars

Land Of The Lost

Synopsis: Dr Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) has invented a theory of quantum paleontology, exploring parallel universes. Laughed out of the scientific establishment he is chased down by his only fan Holly (Anna Friel) and convinced to finish his Tachyon Amplifier. When they test it, Rick, Holly and their guide. Will (Danny McBride). are sucked into a parallel world, a veritable land of The Lost

I never saw the old Sid and Marty Krofft television series on which this film is based, but as they were also responsible for the classic children’s fantasy-adventure series H.R. Pufnstuf, I had an idea that Land Of The Lost would be a fairly trippy kind of experience. And well, that’s exactly what it was. Brad Silberling’s film is a silly, random and frequently insane comedy about people thrown well outside their comfor zone and struggling to hold it together. That makes it sound a lot deeper than it actually is, but it gives you the gist. Will Ferrell has the manchild act down pat, and his histrionics are as funny as ever. If you don’t like him, you won’t like the movie, but I quite enjoy his act and watching him pretend to know all about the intellectual capabilities of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, ignoring all evidence that he’s wrong, is thoroughly enjoyable. In fact, the funniest character in the entire film is the T-Rex. The animators did an amazing job at giving him a very sly and cheeky personality, and his vendetta against Dr Marshall for daring to suggest he’s dumb is hysterical. The way he stalks and torments the hapless nomads is the absolute highlight of the film.

That’s not to say the rest of it  isn’t good. There’s a good crazy energy to the film. It knows it’s silly, and embraces it. The visual style (lensed by Aussie DOP Dion Beebe) is a hyperreal mix of CG and rubber suits, and the story moves along at a good clip. It’s never dull, and there’s always another joke coming. Granted it’s stoner humour, but if you like Robot Chicken or Family Guy, this stuff is gonna work for you.

Silberling has had a chequered career, but with this one he nailed the tone spot on. At the screening I attended the entire cinema was laughing and I’m definitely going to get the DVD. See it when you’re in a mood for something unapologetically silly and you’ll have a blast.




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