PG -13 for crude and sexual content, and for language including a drug reference.
June 5 , 2009
Comedy, Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride
Land of the Lost: Official Movie Web site
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Land of the Lost
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
As a child, my parents always taught me that if I had nothing nice to say then I shouldn’t say it all. However, if pressed for a comment, try to find at least one positive thing to say and make it seem as genuine as possible.
Here is my attempt: If you enjoy crude humor, excrement jokes, sexual innuendo, and an inordinate amount of profanity, then Will Ferrell’s new film Land of the Lost is just the movie for you.
Based on the 1970s Saturday morning children’s television series from erstwhile producers Sid and Marty Kroft, Land of the Lost has all the right elements to be the family hit of the summer. There is Ferrell, who has endeared to himself to the viewing public in several hit roles, as a scientific researcher, a wacky sidekick (Danny McBride of Tropic Thunder), and a potentially loveable monkey man around for comic relief. But what viewers are left with just seems downright weird.
Ferrell plays Dr. Rick Marshall, a has-been scientist who believes he has discovered a way to travel back in time to a pre-historic world filled with dinosaurs, life threatening vegetation, and trouble at every turn. Along for the adventure is his ace research assistant Holly Cantrell (Anna Friel, Timeline) and a red neck opportunist named Will (McBride). Chased by an angry Tyrannosaurus Rex and an army of reptilian creatures known as Sleestaks, Dr. Marshall and company are befriended by a primate (Jorma Taccone, SNL writer) who helps them navigate through one perilous mishap after another.
Positioned as a family film, Land of the Lost is anything but. It is filled with crude and sexual content, foul language, and drug references.
The film adaptation of this children’s television classic could have been so much more, but between the poorly ad-libbed scenes between Ferrell and McBride all the viewer is left with is an abundance of crass, sophomoric humor, highlighted by dinosaur urine, various forms of excrement, and a homophobic kissing scene between man and monkey.
About the only positive moviegoers can take away with them, assuming they have remained in their seats and not walked out, is a winning cameo from Matt Lauer. The Today Show co-host plays it serious as he interviews Dr. Marshall about his time-warp findings, a piece of absurdist theater that is almost worth the price of admission … almost.
Apparently most of the movie’s $100 million dollar plus budget was spent creating an almost surreal parallel universe instead of a better script. Set designers have created a veritable pop culture playground filled with various artifacts, such as Amelia Earhart’s crashed airplane, a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant rising from the sand dunes, and a lonely roadside motel straight from Route 66.
As the movie comes to its jarring conclusion, Ferrells’ Dr. Marshall shouts to his newfound arch nemesis, a Sleestak named Enik (John Boylan), “Science shows no mercy and neither do I!”
I guess Director Brad Silberberg took this to heart. Land of the Lost is a lost cause.
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More articles by Chris Carpenter on CBN.com
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