Land of the Lost (12A)
Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Jul 28 2009If you reckon today’s Hollywood effects movies are all designed by committee, this truly ramshackle version of a dimly remembered cheapo ’70s TV series might change your mind. The marketing angle for this big-screen offering seems to be Will Ferrell plus CGI dinosaurs and bug-eyed aliens in lizard suits equals one big family frolic. The movie, however, is a ragbag of lackadaisical plotting, drugs references, puerile lechery and shiny effects work, an assemblage far from child-friendly yet not quite grungey enough to wow older teens.
Ferrell, as the ‘quantum palaeontologist’ convinced of another dimension where different time periods collide, appears close to the Mike Myers tipping point where only the performer himself thinks he’s funny. Then again, with merely the skeleton crew of scientist Anna Friel (a grim role mainly requiring cleavage), white trash tour-guide Danny McBride and Jorma Taccone’s grunting, groping (said cleavage), prehistoric primate accompanying him into the aforementioned alternate dimension, the star turn is left rather exposed by the script’s confounding dearth of laughs.
All of which should, by rights, prove unendurable, but once you realise that the movie doesn’t have its act together, it somehow becomes perversely endearing. While ace production designer Bo Welch struts his stuff in the hallucinatory desert locales strewn with pop culture flotsam and jetsam, the story schleps from one cursory action set-piece to another with an almost heroic absence of conviction – playing just like some multi-million-dollar stoner gag at the studio’s expense. If only it were a lot funnier, then we’d all be smiling.
Author: Trevor Johnston